On Sunday 23rd April 2023, Mitta Valley Landcare (MVL) together with the Fernvale Recreation Reserve & Soldiers Memorial Committee hosted a free community event at Fernvale Hall. The Frog Habitat & Wetlands event was very popular, with over 50 local landholders and community members coming to hear Dr. Anna Turner, PhD Research Associate Charles Sturt University. Anna presented the recent 2022 Mitta Valley frog survey results as well as previous study years that have been specifically looking for the declining Sothern Bell Frog.
Southern Bell frogs (Litoria raniformis) were once very common across south-eastern Australia. Their decline is mostly due to habitat loss from intensive farming, barriers to water movement, predation from invasive pest (foxes), and fungi disease. The Southern Bell frog is listed as endangered in NSW (Threatened species conservation Act 1995) and threatened in Victoria (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988). The last (3) years of surveying did not detect any evidence of the Southern Bell Frog. If you believe you may have heard this now rare amphibian, you are encouraged to record their call via the FrogID app for a virtual identification by frog call experts from the Australian Museum. The FrogID app is a citizen science project that enables registered users with a smartphone to submit audio recording of frogs. Alternatively, Anna is very open to engaging with anyone who needs help identifying any frogs you may find, she can be contacted on 0499 266 290 or via email email@example.com.
Following on from Anna’s presentation, Dr. Alexandra Knight, Lecturer in Environmental Management Charles Sturt University, lead a wetland walk on the Mitta River flats below the hall where Libbe Paton has established a small wetland restoration area, and was very fortunate to record a Bibron’s Toadlet (Pseudophryne bibronii) earlier in April. Anna and Alex’s knowledge was well received throughout the day with many questions on frog species and how to create wetlands on farm.
MVL would like to thank their members and the Fernvale Hall Committee for catering the event, and to Ben Teek and Simon Feillafe for cooking the spit roast lunch of venison and Banimboola Beef. A special thank you to Paula Sheenan of Holbrook Landcare who keep all kids busy, and to local stall holders Mitta Brewery, Mitta Hub shop, Harker’s Creek Hazelnuts, and Hillview Garlic & Produce, who added an Eat Local Sunday vibe to the day.
author: Robyn Scales
This project is supported by Mitta Valley Landcare, through funding from the Australian Government’s Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers Program.
Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers – an Australian Government initiative.