Frogs re­leased at Mt Buf­falo

Mansfield Courier - - PROPERTY -

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.

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