Take 5 and help protect some frogs

Barcham 14 October 2013


ANUgreen are looking for some assistance in monitoring frog populations, and all they need you to do is relax somewhere quielty for a few minutes.

Sounds good to me.

Do you have a smartphone? Can you stand still for five minutes? Great. ANUgreen and the Ginninderra Catchment Group need your help look after the campus’s frogs.

Frogs around the world are under threat because of climate change and a fungal disease which has recently spread to Tidbinbilla and the Namadgi National Park.

For the past decade, ANUgreen has teamed up with volunteers for ‘Frogwatch’ – a survey of nine frog-friendly sites around campus.

“It’s very easy,” says Biodiversity Officer Tim Yiu. “You just pick a site, quiet down so the frogs resume their calls and send your recordings to the Ginninderra Catchment Group who can identify what species are around and how many there are.

“You can use your iPhone, an audio recorder or borrow equipment from the Catchment Group.”

ANUgreen uses the Frogwatch results to make the campus more frog-friendly.

“One of our most interesting sites is the wetlands behind Ursula Hall. It’s specifically designed for rehabilitation of frogs and has proven very successful since we finished it in 2009,” says Tim.

“There are usually four or five species living there. That’s the majority of the eight common types of frog that are found in the ACT.

“We just built the landscape and the frogs moved in.”

Monitoring frogs is also important for making sure our waterways are healthy, says Tim.

“Frogs are really sensitive to chemicals, so they’re useful indicators of aquatic health.

“They’re sensitive to even small concentrations of pollutants such as pesticides, detergents and industrial chemicals so their presence can indicate good water quality.”

If you are interested in getting involved, the Ginninderra Catchment Group is running free training sessions on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 October.

You can also email Tim at ANUgreen@anu.edu.au or visit http://www.ginninderralandcare.org.au/frogwatch/frogwatch-census for more information.

[Image of Green and golden bell frog by LiquidGhoul (CC BY-SA 3.0)]

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