Frogs' Fate Is Up and Down; but Sunshine Coast Amphibians Are in Good Hands, Reports Lauren Grounsel

Article excerpt

GLUMPH went the little green frog one day, glumph went the little green frog...

Or croak, or ribbet, or quaak quaak.

THE Sunshine Coast is home to about 40 species of native frog, but disease, urban development and habitat loss mean many species are declining in number.

Queensland Frog Society president Dan Ferguson said that while some common backyard frog

species were on the increase, many lesser-known species were struggling.

C[pounds sterling]There are a lot of reasons why frog numbers can be declining,C[yen] Mr Ferguson said.

C[pounds sterling]Loss of habitat, diseases or pathogens, it depends on the species.C[yen]

About 30 years ago, the chytrid fungus, which stops frogs from breathing through their skin, was introduced.

Populations of the creatures have been declining since.

But as the warm, wet weather of the Sunshine Coast is ideal for frog breeding, many species are

remaining strong.

Mooloolah River Waterwatch and Landcare Inc manager Jan Kesby monitors the nine differing frog populations in the Mooloolah River and Mountain Creek areas.

C[pounds sterling]The Giant Marsh frog, that's an endangered frog, it's populating really well,C[yen] Ms Kesby said.

As coastal areas such as the Sunshine Coast are most susceptible to habitat loss and degradation, Ms Kesby urges people to take care when doing anything around our natural waterways.

C[pounds sterling]Frogs can show us how clean the water is,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]They're very sensitive to pollution and keep the bugs at bay.C[yen]

Pollution from urban areas, pesticides, exotic weeds and changes in water PH levels are common causes of population decline. And our arch enemy, cane toads, haven't helped either.

C[pounds sterling]Tadpoles certainly compete in water bodies and adults compete for food,C[yen] Mr Ferguson said of the toad/frog rivalry. …


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