Traf­fic noise ru­in­ing sex lives of frogs

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

CAN­BERRA: Traf­fic noise could be ru­in­ing the sex lives of ur­ban frogs by drown­ing out the se­duc­tive croaks of amorous males, an Aus­tralian re­searcher said.

A well-pro­jected and en­er­getic croak was the male frog’s most im­por­tant as­set in the quest to at­tract mates to his pond, said Mel­bourne Uni­ver­sity ecol­o­gist Kirsten Par­ris.

But com­pe­ti­tion from traf­fic noise in Mel­bourne could be a rea­son why frog num­bers had de­clined in Aus­tralia’s sec­ond­largest city since her sur­vey of more than 100 ponds be­gan in 2000, she said.

Frog species with low-pitched croaks were most dis­ad­van­taged, she said.

The souther n brown tree frog had adapted by rais­ing the pitch of its croak in ar­eas where there was traf­fic din, she found.

The pop­ple­bonk frog’s call could be heard by fe­males from 800m without back­ground noise. That range now shrank to 14m. – Sapa-AP

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