Bush Blitz frogs

Author
by Kate C
Publish date
28 March 2011
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Comments (4)

There are records of seven species of frogs here in the Lake Condah region; all seven are relatively common across south-eastern Australia. Last week, MV frog experts Josh Hale and Katie Smith tracked down six of the seven species within a day or two. The last one, the Southern Toadlet (Pseudophryne semimarmorata) is proving elusive but Josh is back this week to keep looking.

On rainy nights, we’ve seen frogs hopping around the base camp. Bush Blitzers have found them by turning over rocks where they shelter during the day. They've also been identified by the distinctive calls of the males.

Pobblebonk frog Pobblebonk or Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dumerilli) at Lake Condah Mission. This frog was found moving over mown grass.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Froglet The Southern Smooth Froglet, Geocrinia laevis.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Many of the frogs we’ve seen are young juveniles, which means they were tadpoles over the past season. Josh remarked on the unusually large numbers of young frogs and attributes this to the very wet summer; the same conditions that have kept the vegetation unseasonably green. It’s an indication that frogs can build up populations quickly here and recover after years of drought.

Green morph of Brown Tree Frog Green morph of Brown Tree Frog, Litoria ewingii. This species is more often brown.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Brown Tree Frog Brown Tree Frog, Litoria ewingii, in its more common brown morph.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria
 

“Many frogs all round the world are declining so to see healthy breeding populations like this is really encouraging,” says Josh. Frogs make up an important part of the food chain and become prey for birds, mammals and reptiles.

striped marsh frog Striped Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes peronii. These frogs are remarkably well camouflaged.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Spotted Marsh Frog Spotted Marsh Frog, Limnodynastes tasmaniensis.
Image: Julian Finn
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Bush Blitz is a three-year biodiversity discovery program supported by the Australian Government, BHP Billiton, Earthwatch Australia and Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (TERN) AusPlots.

Links:

Frogs of Victoria

Comments (4)

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Jen 28 March, 2011 22:29
What a delightful post and photos! They made me think of my favourite poem about a frog, which appears in The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens. It is purported to be by a Mrs Leo Hunter: Ode to an Expiring Frog Can I view thee panting, lying On thy stomach, without sighing; Can I unmoved see thee dying On a log Expiring frog! Say, have fiends in shape of boys, With wild halloo, and brutal noise, Hunted thee from marshy joys, With a dog, Expiring frog! I hope the Lake Condah frogs remain untroubled by boys, and dogs.
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Chris 29 March, 2011 09:09
So many frogs! I hope you got to hear the Pobblebonks go "pobblebonk".
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David 22 April, 2011 11:15
Pobblebonks. We have many on our hobby farm along Winters Creek, Bonshaw near Ballarat. I think one Pobblebonk only calls Bonk and repeats. When others come they seem to form a Chorus so we hear Pobblebonk. Either way they are beautiful.
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Suzanne Coghill 12 April, 2012 23:30
I love all the MV sites and apps. Took the app to US & son of a friend was fascinated.
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