Shoalhaven Landcare and Bundanon Trust have partnered to reintroduce the locally extinct Stuttering Frog into the Shoalhaven. Previously widespread throughout eastern NSW, the species is no longer found south of Sydney. Gareth Ward will be launching this exciting initiative at Riversdale at 9am on Friday 1 December 2017 and Landcare volunteers will be working on habitat enhancement during the day.
‘We’re excited to say that habitat enhancement is currently underway at two sites in the Shoalhaven where the Stuttering Frog will be reintroduced,’ said project manager Garry Daly from Shoalhaven Landcare and Gaia Research. ‘We plan to release tadpoles and young frogs in early 2018 with an ongoing program of monitoring, research, and protection in place to ensure that they thrive’.
The Stuttering Frog was wiped out in south eastern NSW by the highly infectious Chytrid Fungus, an introduced disease which has decimated populations of Australian amphibians over the past two decades. To establish disease free populations, chytrid-free individuals will be released at two sites in the Shoalhaven – Bundanon Trust’s Riversdale property and a private property along the Cambewarra Range.
‘The creek at Riversdale was selected due to the wet, open forest surrounding it,’ said Michael Andrews, Natural Resource Manager at Bundanon Trust. ‘It provides the ideal habitat for Stuttering Frogs including deep leaf litter for winter hibernation. We’re looking forward to hearing their distinctive call on the property and being part of this important conservation project’.
Shoalhaven Landcare volunteers will have the opportunity to support the newly established frog populations through targeted activities such as weed and fox control. ‘At this stage it is a three year project and we will do everything we can to protect this endangered species in their new home,’ said Mr Daly.