Frogs are endearing, non-threatening and relatively easy to observe. Many are key indicators of a healthy environment. Therefore, humans could do well to take an interest in this animal group to ensure we know where they are and to keep their populations healthy.
The Find a Frog in February citizen science program is now in its 6th year and has been busy building up community awareness of frogs and their needs, and helping people to monitor one or more sites every year during February.
The Mary River catchment is home to over 40 frog species; nine of these are listed as threatened or have disappeared – that’s nearly ¼! Frogs are easily affected by changes in the air, water and land. Collecting information on their whereabouts and the habitats they use means we can better manage the environment to protect them into the future. Here are some ideas to help our frogs:
• Make your frog observations count – submit your photos and/or call recordings to a reputable database.
• Keep some areas ‘messy’ – logs and branches, leaf litter, rock piles, tall grass – a high-rise building houses more beings than a single story dwelling.
• Provide water – ponds, dams, swamps, low areas that fill when it rains, creeks – all with a variety of vegetation and some bare areas.
• Don’t move eggs, tadpoles or frogs about – risk of disease spread.
• Keep pollutants out of the environment – chemicals travel easily with water that flows across the land and along drains. Soap is a frog’s enemy!
• Keep your cats indoors at night as they hunt frogs and other wildlife.
• Know the difference between cane toads and look-alikes.
• Promote the protection of waterways and wetlands in your area.
All people in the Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Gympie and Fraser Coast council regions are invited to get out and about to find frogs and submit their sightings and recordings, now and especially in February. FFF frog finders have contributed to our knowledge of 32 species from 550 locations (over 13,000 records!). Every record counts – even common species like the Green treefrog as the famous ‘toilet frog’ can be affected by changing environmental conditions too.
This year we are introducing the use of the iNaturalist phone app to submit records – join the app, then the ‘Find a Frog in February’ Project and submit your photos and recordings of calling frogs. Our regular record sheet is always welcome too. See our website for more information, forms and links to all things ‘froggy’. Watch our website for workshops in your area to help you increase your frog finding skills.
Find a Frog in February is proudly supported by the Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Shire Council, Gympie Regional Council and the Fraser Coast Council, and delivered by the Mary River catchment Coordinating Committee.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Find a Frog in February Team