Frog species to be rein­tro­duced

Benalla Ensign - - News -

Plans are be­ing made to rein­tro­duce a species of frog to Win­ton Wet­lands, which has been ab­sent from the area for many years.

Frogs are a vi­tal part of our ecosys­tem and are great in­di­ca­tors of the suc­cess of the wet­land restora­tion ef­forts.

Frogs add to the area’s bio­di­ver­sity and are an im­por­tant part of the food-chain for birds, snakes and fish.

‘‘One species that has been lost from our site and also re­gion­ally is the Growl­ing Grass Frog, and we are look­ing into how we can rein­tro­duce the species back to the re­serve,’’ Win­ton Wet­lands restora­tion ecol­o­gist Dr Lisa Farnsworth said.

In a project sup­ported by the Wet­ten­hall En­vi­ron­ment Trust, Win­ton Wet­lands staff and vol­un­teers are em­bark­ing on an in­no­va­tive plan that aims to re- es­tab­lish Growl­ing Grass Frogs on the re­serve. Key project ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude: Mon­i­tor­ing frog calls (col­lected by ci­ti­zen sci­en­tists) through acous­tic record­ing, to re­motely iden­tify species.

Re­search­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of rein­tro­duc­ing the species in­clud­ing test­ing for ap­pro­pri­ate wa­ter qual­ity, wa­ter tem­per­a­ture and veg­e­ta­tion cover.

Habi­tat en­hance­ment ap­pro­pri­ate to the species’ re­quire­ments.

Anal­y­sis to de­ter­mine the ex­tent of chytrid fun­gus on the re­serve (an in­fec­tious dis­ease that af­fects am­phib­ians world­wide).

‘‘We are im­prov­ing frog habi­tat through reveg­e­ta­tion and the ad­di­tion of rocks to al­low Growl­ing Grass Frogs to bask in the sun and to limit the spread of chytrid fun­gus,’’ Dr Farnsworth said.

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Species hope: The Growl­ing Grass frog will be re-in­tro­duced to Win­ton Wet­lands.

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