News

Top ‘froggers’ wanted for local frog count

By Corowa Free Press

Corowa and Albury residents are being asked to eavesdrop on the critically endangered Sloane’s Froglet breeding calls during August.

Dr David Hunter senior threatened species officer said the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, in partnership with Thurgoona/Woolshed Landcare and Corowa Landcare, is inviting local volunteers to get involved with a frog-call survey of the region’s smallest amphibian, to help conservation biologists keep tabs on the froglet. 

“The Sloane’s Froglet is a fascinating creature, extremely tiny and unfortunately, only found in a small area of NSW which is why we are calling out for volunteers to take part in the Sloane’s Champions citizen science monitoring program,” said Dr Hunter. 

“The froglets are only known to occur around the Albury and Corowa regions of southern NSW, so it’s important we keep a close eye on the last remaining populations in the State and we’re inviting locals to help.

“We do this by counting their calls and monitoring their numbers, during the breeding season, which helps prioritise conservation actions for this species and importantly, raise awareness about this lesser known froglet.

“Sloane’s Froglets are unusual as they breed throughout winter, during the coldest months of the year which is when the males’ calls are the most enthusiastic and easiest to hear. 

“It’s easy to take part in the frog count, simply download the FrogID App on your smartphone, visit your local wetlands area during the first few hours after dusk and start listening for the distinctive short sharp “eehhh eeeh eeeh” call of the Sloane’s Froglet. 

“You don’t even need to know the sound of the Sloane’s Froglet amongst the frog chorus as the nifty FrogID App, created by the Australian Museum, sends your frog recordings direct to frog experts, who then identify the frog call for you, from over 240 Australian frog species! 

“The FrogID App even lets you get competitive, it tracks the ‘top froggers’, so why not try to get to the top of the chart!”

“We really need the support of the Albury and Corowa community, not only to help gather data for the monitoring program but we’re hoping the frog survey will help people find an appreciation for this unique species which needs as much support as possible to survive. 

“So grab your smartphone and head out to a local wetland in August to become a Sloane’s Champion. No need to travel far, Sloane’s Froglets have been recorded at roadside puddles, natural wetlands, and farm dams. 

“Download the FrogID App and sign-up to the ‘Sloane’s Champions’ group. Sloane’s Champions are currently the third top national FrogID group for number of frog counts, please help us get to number one!” said Dr Hunter. 

The Sloane’s Champion citizen science monitoring program is funded under the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program, a state-wide program that aims to secure threatened plants and animals in the wild in NSW.