Frogs are an integral element within food webs in the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB). They have what is called a dual life cycle, part of their life in the water (as tadpoles with gills) and their adult life out of the water (as frogs with lungs). This means they are susceptible to changes both in the water and on the land, and makes them a very useful indicator for how our landscape is fairing. As only the male frogs call and each species has a distinctive sound of their own, listening to their breeding calls is an easy, non-intrusive way to monitor frogs.
There are 12 frogs in the SA Murray-Darling Basin region including two species listed as threatened:
- the Southern bell frog (or growling grass frog) – Litoria ranformis, listed as nationally vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
- Bibron’s toadlet – Pseudophryne bibroni, listed rare in South Australia under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.
Natural Resources SAMDB has been monitoring frogs of the Murray Valley for many years, targeting managed wetlands, icon sites and environmental watering projects (see related links below). These activities provide wetland managers with invaluable information to review and adapt their management.
How can the community help?
Natural Resources SAMDB is a supporter of FrogWatchSA, a collaboration of state, local government and non-government organisations. Frogwatch SA aims to give us a more comprehensive understanding of how our frogs are tracking over time. It’s free, easy to use and is open to anyone.
The FrogSpotter mobile app and the FrogWatch SA website are the powerhouse behind FrogWatch SA. They are designed to make it easy and fun to learn about South Australia’s frogs and to collect essential knowledge about them. By taking part in frog surveys, you can help us better understand the condition of the environments frogs are dependent on in South Australia. All you need is your smart phone. Simply submit your frog call via the app and an expert will tell you what frogs are calling in your recording.
How can I get involved?
- Download the FrogSpotter app
- Submit your own recordings at wetlands, creeks, dams, ponds or any waterbody near you
- Feeling confident with your frog call ID? Become a FrogWatchSA identifier!
Why not join the 2018 FrogWatch SA Murray Valley competition and win prizes for frog monitoring. Full information is available here