The Find a Frog in February volunteers found a new population of vulnerable species in their recent venture.
A band of 16 volunteers were observing the night-time habitat along Obi Obi Creek after a frog workshop, delivered by Find a Frog in February coordinator, Eva Ford, from the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee, and held at Forest Heart Nursery.
Twenty-eight years ago the site was a grassy paddock alongside the creek; scant habitat value for more than grasshoppers. Barung Landcare carried out an intensive revegetation program in 1995 that is now self-sustaining due to the shade provided by the tall, dense rainforest canopy.
Thick leaf-litter and logs scattered on the forest floor along with naturally regenerating plants now provide refuge from predators for small creatures. The whole system creates a microclimate of cool, humid air and shade over the water.
The group was pleasantly surprised to find a large population of one of our vulnerable and very charismatic frogs; the Giant barred frog (Mixophyes iteratus).
“We were so excited,” Eva said. “I and other members of the group have looked for frogs at this site in the past and not found this species.
“The effort and patience that is needed to bring back ecosystems has paid off at this site and others, with real benefits for our biodiversity.”
The Giant barred frog is a stream specialist and a good indicator of healthy stream systems.
“Waterways are far more than a channel with water flowing along. Healthy water needs well-structured forest along the margins for bank stability and to support the myriad of cycles and interdependencies that support our living beings,” Eva said.
The Find a Frog in February volunteers are critical to increasing our knowledge of frogs throughout the program area, from the Sunshine Coast to Burrum Heads and beyond.