Did you Find a Frog!

Find a Frog in February 2021 has wrapped up for its 5th year.

While our frog finders’ records are still trickling in, frog numbers are far below last year’s 7946 records due to the unseasonably dry conditions across our the FFF region this year.

Weather conditions

The table below shows that rainfall totals for February were less than one fifth of last year’s totals across the Mary, Noosa and Burrum River catchments and coastal catchments in between. And, not much better than 2017 that was the hottest and driest February on record. Similarly, this February was preceded by a drier than usual January and many dry months of late 2020.

Table 1February rainfall totals (mm) (Bureau of Meteorology)

Location 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Maryborough 6 137 32 345 22.2
Gympie 21 282 35 184 32
Tewantin 41 394 37 510 93
Kenilworth 24 295 110 385 62

Despite the weather discouraging frog breeding activity, dedicated froggers across the area still managed to get out and about to find a few frogs, spurred on by a number of fun and factual frog workshops and monitoring surveys led by the MRCCC’s FFF team.

This February, we led four schools and five Bushcare groups in conducting monitoring surveys at specific sites which they will continue to monitor each February. This year, Gympie East State School conducted their first monitoring survey long Deep Creek. Monitoring an area previously surveyed provides information about the persistence of species over time. Some of our frogs, even the most common species, may be struggling with the regular, prolonged dry periods we have been experiencing and it is especially critical now to understand how they are faring.

Table 2. Schools and Bushcare group surveys

Schools Bushcare Groups
Tinana State School survey at Woocoo Park 18/2 Poona Bushcare – workshop and survey – 10/2
Gympie East State School survey – 19/2 Noosa Landcare members workshop and survey @ Cooroora – 25/2
Noosa District State High School survey at Mimburi – 23/2 Burgess Creek Bushcare – workshop and survey – 26/2
Mapleton State School survey – 24/2 Mary Cairncross Workshop and Survey @ Walker creek – 16/2
Peregian Beach Community Association @ Emu Swamp – November 2020

In addition to our monitoring program, our team have been in contact with many local schools and kindergartens, several of whom have approached us to seek advice and information, submit frog records, or express their interest in starting their own monitoring program with students.

So far, we have received around 700 frog records, encompassing 24 species, of which 3 are vulnerable.

Our dedicated frog finders have made a number of interesting discoveries, including:

  • Hearing a vulnerable Cascade treefrog (Litoria pearsoniana) while on survey near Deep Creek with the grade 4 students and parents of Gympie East State School;
  • Finding a pair of Whistling treefrogs (Litoria verreauxii) pushing the northern end of its range at Pinbarren;
  • Submission of a couple of albino Graceful treefrogs (Litoria gracilenta) from a couple of different sites in the Sunshine Coast area (Photos of green and yellow versions)
  • Hearing of a Powerful owl calling in Pomona while on survey after the Noosa Landcare workshop (yes, we record everything we encounter).

The FFF team (Mackenzi, Alana and Eva) have been shooting off media releases and Facebook posts and landholder and school notices throughout the month (and since November 2020) to remind people that it is on again, to drum up interest, and encourage participation.

We look forward to  into another action-packed and frog-friendly February in 2022!

The MRCCC is grateful for the support provided by the 4 Councils of the program area; Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Gympie and Fraser Coast.