Work begins on habitat restoration project for flagship frog
16 December 2015
Work has begun on a new project to restore habitat for the flagship local species, the Booroolong Frog, in the Sewell's Creek area near Bathurst.
Staff from Central Tablelands Local Land Services and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have just returned from an expedition to the Captain King's Creek and the Native Dog Creek west of Oberon (tributaries of Sewell's Creek) where they collected baseline monitoring data on frog numbers.
This information on frog numbers will provide an essential starting point to determine the eventual success of the 'Fish, Frogs, Flora and Fresh Flowing Water' project. Habitat threats will also be identified so they can be strategically addressed.
Central Tablelands Local Land Services is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage on this joint project. They are also working closely with the key landholders in the project area, including Hume Forests and Forestry Corporation of NSW.
The Booroolong Frog is classed as a threatened species under both NSW and Commonwealth legislation, and is also listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
As a species, the Booroolong Frog has disappeared from 50 percent of its former distribution within the past 25 years. The extent and quality of habitat, and the number of habitat locations and the number of mature individuals are also reported to be in decline.
Fortunately for the frogs, there are several sites around the Bathurst region where good populations have been identified.
According to Central Tablelands Local Land Services Officer, Allan Wray, there are multiple sites along these streams where there are scattered populations of frogs.
"Some areas are in good condition, while other sites are narrow and impacted by problems such as weeds and sedimentation," said Allan.
The Booroolong is a river breeding frog that requires permanent water with extensive bedrock structures along the water's edge.
Any impact that reduces stream permanency or results in a loss of rock crevices, such as smothering by weeds or sedimentation, is likely to threaten the frog's survival.
Habitat restoration on the Native Dog and Captain King's creeks is part of a broader project funded through an Environmental Trust Saving Our Species (SOS) Partnership Grant to protect and enhance Booroolong habitat along the Abercrombie River and Sewell's Creek areas.
"Once we've collected this initial baseline data, we'll start tackling identified issues such as blackberry and willow infestations, revegetation work to increase and enhance habitat, and works to reduce sedimentation from erosion along the creeks," said Allan.
For more information about the 'Fish, Frogs, Flora and Fresh Flowing Water' project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, contact Allan Wray at Central Tablelands Local Land Services on 0447 278 308.
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