Frog Conservation and Habitat Construction
Program Leader: Dr John Clulow
Frog Diversity & Habitat Requirements:
Habitat requirements and utilisation by amphibians in the Mt Owen Complex area are being studied by monitoring the occurrence of species at water bodies and along drainage lines across the unmined, mined and restored habitats of the Mt Owen landscape. These studies involve monitoring of the distribution of species, the structural and vegetation characteristics of the waterbodies, and the effect of water chemistry (salinity, pH) on the occurrence of species. This work seeks to maximise the diversity of amphibian diversity throughout the landscape, recognising the inherent value of amphibian biodiversity in its own right, but also the role of amphibians in sustaining the food web of forest and open woodland ecosystems.
Northern and Southern Frog Conservation Zones:
This part of the amphibian research is involved in optimising the management and biodiversity outcomes of supplementary amphibian habitats established within designated Frog Conservation Zones in the biodiversity offset areas of the Mt Owen Complex. The habitat was established to compensate for Green and Golden Bell Frog Habitat removed during mining. At the time the habitat was lost, no Bell Frogs had been seen in the removed habitat for more than 5 years. The rarity of the frog in the area is attributed to a disease induced decline. The compensatory habitat established in the Northern and Southern Frog Conservation Zones is being managed to optimise amphibian diversity in the local landscape, and to retain habitat suitable for the Green and Golden Bell Frog, should the species recover in the local area. Failing a natural recovery of the species from the impacts of disease within the local area, future experimental reintroductions of the species to the site may be undertaken.