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Booroolong frog not croaking on our watch

A joint monitoring program has shown a healthy Booroolong frog (Litoria booroolongensis) population in Essington State Forest near Oberon. Forestry Corporation of NSW, Hume Forests, Central Tablelands Local Land Services and the Office of Environment and Heritage are all working together to protect this endangered species in streams running through Oberon plantation forests. Source: Timberbiz

The project is improving the Booroolong frog’s habitat through targeted weed and erosion control, and increasing the width of protective native vegetation buffers on streams.

The Booroolong frog is listed as endangered under both NSW and Commonwealth legislation and now occupies less than half of its original range. Disease, weeds and land degradation are all leading causes of the frog’s shrinking distribution, David Coote Office of Environment and Heritage Senior Threatened Species Officer said.

“In the late 1970s a disease called Chytridiomycosis caused by the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus wiped out many upland frog populations, including populations of Booroolong frog,” Mr Coote said.

“Different land use practises that diverted water, increased erosion and increased weed invasion in Booroolong streams led to local extinctions, so we are very interested in working with land managers to protect and rehabilitate the frog’s habitat.”

Forestry Corporation staff joined Office of Environment and Heritage and volunteers late last year for a series of night time surveys, Forestry Corporation’s Community Programs Coordinator, Nikki Bennetts said.

“The monitoring program is a great opportunity for Forestry staff to see the impact of the environmental protection measures they employ during harvesting and forest establishment,” Ms Bennetts said. “This will include weed and erosion control and improving native vegetation buffers on streams.”

The monitoring took place along a number of one kilometre creek transects within the Essington State Forest, revealing not only Booroolong frogs, but also a koala and greater glider. This work is part of a 10‐year NSW Government project to conserve the Booroolong frog and several other threatened stream species, funded by the Saving Our Species program through the NSW Environmental Trust.