Survival of the Spotted Tree Frog

The survival of the Spotted Tree Frog is in rocky waters with a fatal fungal disease and predatory fish threatening the wellbeing of this little amphibian.  

Commonly found in fast-flowing streams with large rocks and boulders, the Spotted Tree Frog can be found across NSW and Victoria. However, with the threats to its survival, it’s unknown how much longer they will be here for. With a life expectancy of 10-12 years – a long time for a small frog! – CVA are part of recovery efforts and an Advisory Committee working to ensure these cute creatures are able to live out their full lives in healthy numbers. 

Threatened by a fungal pathogen (called ‘Chytrid’) and predation from introduced predatory fish, this little tree frog is struggling to survive in its rocky stream habitat. 

The species has disappeared from 50% of its former habitat with only eight of the 14 populations still in existence. The biggest threats to its survival? The fact that non-native fish such as brown trout, rainbow trout and European carp eat Spotted Tree Frog tadpoles, as well as the chytrid fungus killing adult frogs. While under some conditions the species may be able to survive one of these threats, the combined impact of both threats is taking its toll. 

As part of the Spotted Tree Frog Advisory Committee, what is CVA doing to help? We’re working with the Threatened Species Recovery Hub, University of Melbourne and other partners to undertake a five-year management trial near Lake Eildon in Victoria. The trial will take place at a remote stream that has been identified in collaboration with anglers as being difficult to access and thus having low recreational fishing value. This stream is also an important site for recovery of the Spotted Tree Frog! The trial will involve removing and relocating non-native fish and continuous monitoring of the frog population – all with the goal of increasing our understanding of the threats to our hoppy friends and helping prevent their extinction. 

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This project is supported by Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo
Sources: Zoos Victoria & Threatened Species Wildlife Hub
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