Endangered frog may fall victim to drought
Posted by Miqe on April 18, 2007
The Booroolong tree frog.
VICTORIA’S critically endangered Booroolong tree frog risks becoming the latest casualty of the drought, which has dried up the frog’s habitat near the Murray River for the first time.
With the frog already in decline in NSW, there are fears it will die out in the Burrowye and Guys Forest creeks in north-east Victoria, 100 kilometres east of Wodonga.
Although the tree frog species has managed to survive extensive clearing of its habitat and introduced species such as the carp and mosquito fish, which prey on its eggs and tadpoles, the two creeks it inhabits have fallen to unprecedented levels.
The species’ future isn’t helped by the fact that males die after one season. Many were unable to breed this year as the creeks had only small pools left. A captive-breeding program has been set up at the Amphibian Research Centre in Werribee in a frantic bid to save the species.
Booroolong tree frog numbers have already dropped due to chytridomycosis, a worldwide disease wiping out frog populations that has left 35 eastern Australian species extinct or in severe decline.
The amphibian fungal disease is believed to have been spread globally as a result of African clawed frogs being exported for use in human pregnancy tests up until the 1960s.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Wodonga senior flora and fauna planner, Glen Johnson, said frog deaths were often the first indicator of serious environmental problems.
From The Age