“TINK TINK”:The Kroombit Tinker Frog is considered critically endangered
“TINK TINK”:The Kroombit Tinker Frog is considered critically endangered

‘A GREAT SHAME’: Frog on the verge of extinction

ONE of the last native frog species left in the Gladstone region, the Kroombit tinker frog, has been put on the critically endangered list.

Endemic to Kroombit Tops National Park, the frog population has decreased drastically, with only 300 frogs left in the wild.

Ecological consultant Dr Ed Meyer has been studying the Taudactylus pleione frog and its habitat since the mid 90s and said the combination of fungus, wild pigs, and climate change is the reason for the frogs' dire situation.

 

The Kroombit Tinker Frog is endemic to Kroomit Tops National Park. Picture: Dr Ed Meyer
The Kroombit Tinker Frog is endemic to Kroomit Tops National Park. Picture: Dr Ed Meyer

Dr Meyer said wild pigs have been an emerging problem since the early 2000s and are considered to be the frog's most immediate threat.

"(The pigs) have managed to find their way into the habitat where the tinker frog seems to be doing okay, but now the pigs in there are churning up the habitat," Dr Meyer said.

 

The Kroombit Tinker Frog comes in various colours and can only be distinguished from the 'Tink' sound they make. Picture: Dr Ed Meyer
The Kroombit Tinker Frog comes in various colours and can only be distinguished from the 'Tink' sound they make. Picture: Dr Ed Meyer

For the next three years, the Queensland Frog Society will undergo an intensive study, in a Queensland Government-funded initiative, to help conserve the threatened species.

The group will monitor the frog's mating call - the "tink" sound it is named after - and build fences to keep wild pigs out of important habitats.

"That's one less threat the frogs have to contend with," he said.

They will also consider whether immediate action such as a captive breeding program be undertaken.

 

For the next three years, the Queensland Frog Society will undergo an intensive study, in a Queensland Government-funded initiative, to help conserve the threatened species.
For the next three years, the Queensland Frog Society will undergo an intensive study, in a Queensland Government-funded initiative, to help conserve the threatened species.

Currently the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is the first institution in the world to breed and house the species.

In 2018, the sanctuary introduced pairs of frogs in order to boost the wild population.

With three related species already extinct, Dr Meyer said this research is critical to provide researchers with an understanding of the species.

"These are ancient lineages, these frogs have been around for millions of years and we'd like to have them stick around for a bit longer," he said.

"It would be a great shame to lose them."



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