Frog numbers are rapidly declining across the world, as the climate changes and we continue to invade the special natural places frogs need to live. As one of the first casualties of ecosystem decline, frogs are a critical indicator of the health of the environment and their decline is another measure of human pressure on the planet.
One of Bribie Island's Vulnerable frog species: the Wallum Sedgefrog (Photo © Indra Bone)
Frog ID Week, 3-12 November 2023
We don’t often see frogs but we can hear them. The Australian Museum has produced a free app for smart phones which you can use to get to know the frogs in your area.
The app provides a photo, description, the call of each frog and a chance for you to record and send the call of the frog or frogs you are hearing. It then sends back to you the name of the frogs you have recorded.
This year’s Frog ID Week began on Friday November 3 and will run until Sunday November 12th. Recordings you send in during these dates will contribute to the biggest Australian frog count and will tell us how our frogs are faring in 2023.
It’s a great way we can all contribute, via citizen science, to our understanding of frogs and their needs. Whether around home, around the local watercourse or in one of our protected areas, why not get out and about, have some time in nature, and contribute to the science’s understanding of biodiversity!
Adding data to the Frog ID App is easy... getting data out is not quite so straight forward. So be sure to also add your observation to the amazing open source platform iNaturalist, as this will ensure BIEPA’s Wildlife Team can also readily access the data when developing projects and creating species reports about the island in a timely manner when needed.
Bribie Island's Frog Quartet: Our At-risk Amphibians
Bribie Island is home to 23 species of native frogs, four of which are listed as Vulnerable on Queensland’s Threatened Species List. They are one of the many reasons our wallum habitat is so incredibly precious and continues to need the community to stand up for its protection. As three of the quartet have common names starting with 'wallum' – sometimes residents are unaware our wetlands are home to such a variety of threatened frogs.
Top Left: Wallum Rocketfrog (Litoria freycineti) Photo © Teejaybee
Top Right: Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis) Photo © Greg Tasney
Bottom Left: Wallum Froglet (Crinia tinnula) Photo © Isaac Clarey Bottom Right: Wallum Sedgefrog or Olongburra Tree Frog (Litoria olongburensis) Photo © Indra Bone (All photos via iNaturalist)
There are amazing facts to learn about frogs once you go looking. Some raise their young in pockets under their skin. Burrowing frogs such as these can sometimes be dug up unwittingly by gardeners. The Moreton Bay suburbs like ours are unusual in that our soils can be acidic. Frogs such as the Scarlet-sided Pobblebonk have evolved to live in a highly acid environment which would destroy other animals. Some of our local frogs, like the Pobblebonk, Ornate Burrowing Frog and the Vulnerable Tusked Frog, are often mistakenly thought to be the problematic cane toad. So before you engage in any toad control, be sure to do your research. (See the BIEPA Events Page for the next toad bust near you)
The Scarlet-sided Pobblebonk, AKA the Northern Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes terraereginae). (Photo (c) Isaac Clarey via iNaturalist)
The Ornate Burrowing Frog, (Platyplectrum ornatum). (Photo © Greg Tasney via iNaturalist)
Do more for our Froggy Friends
If you think frogs might be your thing, in addition to frog-spotting with Frog ID and iNaturalist, the Queensland Frog Society Inc and Backyards for Biodiversity offer great advice, including on how to set up a frog-friendly garden. One simple way to make your garden frog friendly, is to consider installing a Frog Hotel. See you out and about perusing the ponds, surveying the swamps, watching the wallum– and having a ribbeting good time! This news item was penned collaboratively by BIEPA Wildlife Team members Sandra Bayley and Darren Jew. If you have a topical story you'd like to tell, please submit your draft to the Community Team for consideration.