Call for shire residents to listen out for frogs this week

Listen out: Litoria daviesae, or Davie's Tree Frog, is one of the little amphibians scientist are listening out for this FrogID week. Picture: Jodi Rowley, courtesy Australian Museum
Listen out: Litoria daviesae, or Davie's Tree Frog, is one of the little amphibians scientist are listening out for this FrogID week. Picture: Jodi Rowley, courtesy Australian Museum

Frogs are good for more than just turning into princes - they're "the lifeblood of many environments", according to Sir David Attenborough.

That's why Aussie scientists are calling on locals to listen out for the creatures this FrogID week.

The Australian Museum is trying to gather as many recordings of 'frog calls' as possible from around the country and there are several areas which are of high priority - including Wollondilly.

Locals have been urged to download the FrogID phone app, listen out for frog calls and hit record this FrogID week (November 6-15).

Each frog species has a unique call, which is an accurate way to identify different frog species. Recording and uploading frog calls, via the FrogID app, will identify different frog species, along with time and location data, using GPS technology. A team of frog experts will verify calls submitted by the public and this data will help map frog populations across Australia and identify areas and species under threat.

Dr Jodi Rowley, lead scientist of FrogID and the curator of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology at the Australian Museum, has been using FrogID data from bushfire-ravaged areas of south-eastern Australia to assess the impact on frogs and their habitat and has been encouraged by these findings, as well as observations of frogs in burnt habitats.

"I was expecting the bushfires to have wiped out many frog populations, so I've been stunned by some of the positive signs I've seen recently," she said.

"In one bushfire-affected rainforest stream, not too long after the fires, I was excited to hear the endangered Southern Barred Frog (Mixophyes balbus) calling along the stream. A few months later, I returned to find the same stream, still full of ash, full of their tadpoles.

"We have so much more to understand about these amazing animals, but we can only do this with help from people across Australia."

Dr Rowley said calls recorded by people all around the country have helped scientists better understand how to keep our frogs safe.

"We need the help of people all around the nation to gather audio of frogs in city parks, suburban backyards, regional properties, remote locations - everywhere," she said.

"This year, the data is absolutely vital in helping us understand how frogs adapt to climate change and weather patterns like drought and the bushfires we have experienced over the last year.

"Get outside, listen for frogs and send us their calls - it's simple to do and you'll be helping to save Australia's frogs."

In less than three years, FrogID has produced more than 30 per cent of all the frog records in Australia over the last 240 years - crucial information which helps scientists learn more about our frogs in order to protect them.

Areas of highest priority are Lithgow, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla, Blue Mountains, Clarence Valley, Mid-Coast and East Gippsland. Priority areas include: ACT, Wingecarribeen, Wollondilly, Richmond Valley, Bega Valley, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Glen Innes/New England, Queanbeyan, Oberon, Walcha, Mid-Western Regional and Kangaroo Island.

Frogs scientists are most interesting in learning about this year are:

  • Giant Burrowing Frog (Heleiporus australiacus)
  • New England Tree Frog (Litoria subglandulosa)
  • Davie's Tree Frog (Litoria daviesae)
  • Southern Barred Frog (Mixophyes balbus)
  • Giant Barred Frog (Mixophyes iteratus)
  • Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)
  • Bilingual Froglet (Crinia bilingua)
  • Desert Froglet (Crinia deserticola)
  • Remote Froglet (Crinia remota)
  • Tasmanian Smooth Froglet (Geocrinia laevis)
  • Eastern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilii)
  • Giant Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes interioris)
  • Western Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dorsalis)
  • Northern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes terraereginae)
  • Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea)
  • Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis)
  • Red-crowned Toadlet (Pseudophryne australis)
  • Eastern Water-holding Frog (Cyclorana platycephala)
  • Western Water-holding Frog (Cylorana occidentalis)

Learn more: frogid.net.au.

This story Call for shire residents to listen out for frogs this week first appeared on Wollondilly Advertiser.