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Forestry partnership aims to save Booroolong Frog

The Forestry Corporation of NSW and Hume Forests Limited have hopped on to the frog rescue bandwagon, launching a habitat restoration plan in partnership with Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

The Essington State Forest near Oberon and adjoining land controlled by Hume Forests is home to a rare population of the endangered Booroolong Frog (Litoria booroolongensis). The creek flowing through the Essington forest is a prime breeding site for this species.

“This area contains one of only two Booroolong Frog populations in the Central Tablelands,” explained Allan Wray from Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“We’ll be working with the Forestry Corporation and Hume Forests to address key threats to the species, including habitat degradation, so the population can stabilise and eventually grow over time.

Our hope is that the frogs in this area will become more resilient to stresses caused by climate variability and forestry operations.”

The Forestry Corporation of NSW and Hume Forests are enthusiastically embracing the partnership with Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“The Forestry Corporation was delighted to hear that Essington State Forest was home to some of the last surviving populations of Booroolong Frog in Australia, and we are keen to be involved in safeguarding their ongoing survival,” said Dan Kirby, Fire & Stewardship Manager with the Forestry Corporation of NSW.

Hume Forests is equally committed to the success of the project, with Oberon Operations Forester, Adrian Carstens stating, “Hume Forests is committed to the preservation of threatened species and ecological communities and is pleased to be involved in the habitat restoration plan to protect the Booroolong Frog.”

The Booroolong Frog suffered a dramatic decline in numbers during the mid 1980’s, and recent surveys suggest declines have occurred throughout the Booroolong frog’s former known range.

The factors identified as contributing to the historic and continued decline of the Booroolong Frog include the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), altered stream flows, and stream drying associated with recent severe droughts, and habitat degradation caused by sedimentation, inappropriate grazing and weed infestation in the riparian zone.

Funding from programs including Saving our Species (SOS), the National Landcare Programme, Green Army, 20 Million Trees and Catchment Action, along with in-kind contributions from stakeholders will enable extensive restoration works to be implemented in the Essington Forests that could save the Booroolong frog from local extinction.

“The Booroolong Frog is an important local species. Removing weeds, and reducing erosion and sedimentation in the creeks and rivers where it breeds will help the Booroolong Frog to survive, and will also help preserve other native plants and animals that live in this riparian habitat,” said Allan Wray.

For more information on this collaborative project and the Essington Forests Booroolong Frog Management Plan contact Allan Wray on phone:  02 6333 2318 or email: allan.wray@lls.nsw.gov.au

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370