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Teaming up to save the Booroolong frog

LAND COUNCILS, LLS & FORESTRY CORPORATION TEAMING UP TO SAVE THE BOOROOLONG FROG

Restoration of critical Booroolong frog habitat is forging ahead thanks to a team effort from the Orange and Bathurst Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs), Central Tablelands Local Land Services, and Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW).

The Essington State Forest near Oberon contains a rare population of the endangered Booroolong frog (Litoria booroolongensis). This area contains one of only two Booroolong populations on the Central Tablelands.

Significant erosion control work has now been completed in this area and new plantings of native vegetation are underway as part of the Fish, Frogs, Flora and Fresh Flowing Water project, coordinated by Local Land Services and funded through the Environmental Trust 'Saving our Species' partnership program.

The Booroolong frog suffered a dramatic decline in numbers during the mid 1980’s. Weed infestation, sedimentation, and inappropriate grazing have all caused serious degradation in critical habitat leaving frogs homeless, vulnerable and with nowhere to raise their next generation of tadpoles.

The combined Orange and Bathurst LALC Gaambuwananha Ngurambang team is playing a key role in the frog rescue operation, heading out into the forest regularly to spray weeds, stabilise erosion sites, and plant native trees and shrubs.

“Removing weeds, and reducing erosion in the creeks and rivers where the frog breeds will help it to survive, and will also help preserve the many other important native plants and animals that live in this riparian habitat,” said Orange LALC Project Assistant, Phil New.

Bathurst LALC Chief Executive Officer, Tonilee Scott, says this is an important project for the local Aboriginal community.

"We are excited to be involved with securing the frog population, and we’re continuing to expand and further skill our land management team to work on land management goals like habitat rejuvenation,” said Ms Scott.

Forestry Corporation NSW is also enthusiastic about the project according to Community Programs Coordinator, Nikki Bennetts.

“Forestry Corporation is keen to continue to be involved in safeguarding the ongoing survival of the last surviving populations of Booroolong frog in Australia,” said Ms Bennetts.

“Our forestry staff employ stringent environmental protection measures during forest harvesting and establishment and we're pleased to see these positive results.”

The Fish, Frogs, Flora and Fresh Flowing Water is building on extensive restoration works already implemented in the Essington Forests over the past six years, funded through the Saving our Species (SOS) and NSW Catchment Action programs, and in-kind contributions from stakeholders.

“In partnership with the Aboriginal Land Councils, we’ve been working with FCNSW to address habitat degradation and other threats to frog survival so that the population can stabilise and eventually grow in size.” explained Casey Proctor from Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

For more information about the habitat restoration for the Booroolong frog, contact Casey Proctor on 02 6341 9318 or email: casey.proctor@lls.nsw.gov.au