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QUEENSLAND FROGS - just hanging on - or are they?

Last Updated on Monday, 12 March 2012 14:20
qld-frogsWildlife Queensland reports that Queensland has 124 species of frog, more than any other Australian state. Within the coastal region 48% of Queensland's frog species live below 100m altitude. They are the species most threatened by habitat loss and degradation.

Currently, 25 Queensland frog species are listed as vulnerable to extinction or endangered, but this list is growing - 6 of these species may already be extinct.

Locally at Jerry's Downfall we have habitat and home for the vulnerable Wallum frogs.

The threats
1. Habitat loss
Frogs need native vegetation but they are losing their habitat through Land clearing and urbanisation, industry and associated infrastructure, especially in coastal south-east Queensland.and Intensive agriculture.
2. Habitat degradation
Frogs and tadpoles need clean water to breed and grow. Water bodies are becoming less suitable for frogs because:

Pollution, including nutrients, runs off from lawns, gardens and agriculture.

Pesticides, especially in urban areas, are toxic to frogs.

Weeds from agriculture are taking over frog-friendly wet forests and altering water chemistry.

Changes in stream and wetland hydrology make wetlands [ the habitat of the wallum sedgefrog] unsuitable for frog breeding.

Development is disturbing acid sulphate soils, which upsets the water's pH balance.

3. Global warming
Reduced rainfall and increased temperatures will affect frog species.

Rising sea levels might affect frogs in coastal areas, for example, the wallum sedgefrog

4. Disease
An introduced fungal disease is killing upland rainforest frogs as well as affecting more common species like the green tree frog. Even apparently common species like the green treefrog (Litoria caerulia) are threatened by exotic diseases.
5. Exotic fish
Mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki), introduced to control mosquito larvae, eat frogspawn and tadpoles.

Aquarium fish and other exotics are a threat to frogs if released into to the wild.

What you can do
Conserve frog habitats along streams, gullies and rivers.
Conserve wetlands, especially seasonally flooded areas and ephemeral wetlands - such as melaleuca swamps.
Never let soaps, detergents or pesticides flow into stormwater drains or waterways.
Create frog-friendly gardens by encouraging naturally occurring trees, shrubs and ground covers.
Lobby local and State governments to value and protect native vegetation, particularly creekside and low-lying areas.
Lobby local and State governments to control development including managing stormwater runoff and retaining native vegetation.
Reduce your own greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.
Reduce the spread of disease among amphibian populations by not moving frogs and tadpoles from one place to another.
Prevent the spread of exotic and aquarium fish into waterways.


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