Frog ‘resorts’ aim to save endangered species

MORE than 300 Southern Corroboree Frogs were released into remote enclosures in Kosciuszko National Park yesterday as part of a program to save this critically endangered species.

Gabriel Wilks from the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said the frogs were successfully placed into specially-constructed frog enclosures within the park as part of efforts to return healthy populations of this species back into the wild.

“The newly built enclosures are in very remote locations in the national park where these frogs were once found,” Gabriel said.

 “The eight specially constructed enclosures are seven meters in diameter and essentially look like a bottomless swimming pool with native vegetation, logs and small ponds placed inside.

“Designing the enclosures to ensure the frogs and their mini-ecosystems remain healthy and survive the extreme weather conditions has been a challenge.

 “Similar enclosures have been installed throughout Kosciusko National Park as part of a long-term recovery plan to save this iconic species, but we’ve never before attempted to place them in such a remote area.

“The specialist skills and local knowledge of the NPWS Landforms and Rehabilitation Team was vital to work out how habitat and irrigation requirements could actually be achieved in the field.”

 NPWS Field officer Joel Fordham is part of the crew that constructed the enclosures and described these new frog homes as ‘move-in-ready’ for the tiny black and yellow striped frog.

 “The enclosures are like frog resorts – ponds will have water in summer for breeding, the right vegetation for habitat shelter, plenty of ants for food and timber slabs for winter retreats,” Joel said.

 The construction of these enclosures was funded by the Australian Government through the Threatened Species Strategy and is part of a long-term recovery plan to save this iconic species.

 The frogs that were released yesterday were bred in captivity by the Taronga Zoo and Zoo Victoria. 

 Earlier trials with frog enclosures have already shown promising results with breeding observed at other locations.

 More information on efforts to save the Southern Corroboree Frog in NSW is at the Saving our Species website.

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