Frogs released at Mt Buffalo
THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and the Amphibian Research Centre released a further 300 captive-bred Spotted Tree Frogs at Mount Buffalo last weekend as part of their ongoing trial reintroduction.
The Spotted Tree Frog is found in up to 10 catchments in Victoria and one in New South Wales; it is listed as ‘threatened’ under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and classified as endangered nationally.
DEPI’s senior biodiversity officer, Glen Johnson, said an amphibian disease known as Chytridiomycosis caused by a fungus is believed to have wiped out most of the colony of captivebred Spotted Tree Frogs previously released into Mount Buffalo National Park in 2012.
“The fungus was first identified in 1998 by ARC manager Gerry Marantelli and his colleagues and is a potentially lethal skin disease to amphibians,” Mr Johnson said.
“It has been detected on at least 287 species of amphibians from 36 countries, and is likely to be responsible for more than 100 species’ extinctions since the 1970s.
A positive result from the initial release is two young frogs were recently confirmed on stream, demonstrating successful breeding of captive reared animals can occur in the wild.
“If all the frogs are in captivity and not on the mountain interacting with the fungus, they will never develop resistance,” Mr Marantelli said.
LEARNING THE ROPES: Earlier releases of spotted tree frogs at Mt Buffalo resulted in a serious decline in the colony. A further 300 captive-bred frogs were released last weekend.