Kuranda Leaps into Action to Save Endangered Frog

November 13, 2018

The endangered Kuranda Tree Frog is the focus of a community plan to ensure its survival.

Kuranda Tree Frog

Kuranda Tree Frog. Photo: Rhys Sharry

The Kuranda Tree Frog Community Action Plan will be launched today and is the culmination of over a year’s work by community members, government agency staff and natural resource management consultants.

With just 750 froggies left, the endangered species needs all the help it can get.  The community-led plan contains priority actions that will contribute to the short and long-term protection of the tiny Kuranda local and its habitat.

Major threats to the frog’s survival include habitat loss and changes in water flow, both due to land clearing for development, and an exotic fungus called Chytridiomycosis which invades the surface layers of the frog’s skin.

Conservation efforts to date have included tree planting for habitat restoration and riparian corridor linkage of breeding areas, Kuranda Tree Frog population monitoring and Frog call training for the community.

Kuranda EnviroCare’s Cathy Retter said it won’t be an overnight fix.

“We’ll be working towards 10-year goals like entire habitat restoration for the frog, with fully connected 100 metre wide riparian corridors along all creeks, and agreements with private landholders.”

“The plan is community led, and community backed and because of this we’re optimistic about getting good results for the Kuranda Tree Frog,” said Ms Retter.

Evolutionary biologist Dr Conrad Hoskins said that despite the frog living up against the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, very little of its distribution is formally protected.

“It is generally found on private land and that’s why the community is the key to its survival. The action plan is a major step forward in the conservation of this important species.”

“The Kuranda Tree Frog is a highly localised species that needs urgent conservation attention. Impacts to a single creek population impacts the species as a whole – with such a small distribution there is very little buffering,” said Dr Hoskins.

Actions will also benefit other local species like the Cassowary, Myola Palm, and Lacelid Frog.

The plan’s development was made possible with funding support from Landcare Australia’s Habitat Grants.