The benefit of frogs to the environment is no croak so during National Frog Week local enthusiast David Flack is sharing what he loves about the amphibians.
Area coordinator for the Queensland Frog Society, if you ask David what he loves about frogs he’ll laugh and tell you it’s easier to list what he doesn’t like about the unusual species.
“Some of the things that I find interesting about them is the fact that they drink through their skin,” David said.
“This can sound really scientific, but their spit is a non-Newtonian liquid.
“Their tongue tissue is one of the softest tissues in the world, softer than brain tissue.
“They've got lots of different characteristics that I find really interesting.”
This week is National Frog Week and is immediately followed by FrogID Week.
David said raising awareness about frogs and frog identification was important.
“Frogs are a critical part of the ecosystem.
They're both predator and prey, so a lot of animals will eat them and they obviously eat a lot of insects.
“They're actually an environmental indicator so if you don't have a lot of frogs in an area, particularly if it's a wet area, there could be some issues with the environmental parameters in the water quality or the ecosystem.
“It could be pollution or those sorts of things.
“And why it's important to be able to identify frogs correctly is obviously in Queensland we have the cane toad.
“There's quite a lot of frogs that look similar to cane toads, they have glands, they have warts and they're brown, but they are actually frogs.”
He said Barolin Nature Reserve was one of his favourite places to go “frogging”.
“It's almost guaranteed you'll find something.
“We know there's about a dozen species out there from green tree frogs through to Queensland pobblebonks and red tree frogs.”
David said the Bundaberg Region was home to some unique and vulnerable species including the Peron’s Tree Frog which is only found in Childers and Gin Gin.
Bundaberg Regional Council Natural Areas Officer Sally Obst said the region’s frogs liked a variety of environments.
“They like wet areas, marshy areas, you might find them burrowing under debris and leaf matter on the ground and you also find them in trees,” Sally said.
“Natural areas like Baldwin Swamp and Barolin Nature Reserve are really important frog habitats.
“We think of them like an oasis in an urban environment.”
Council has recently undertaken works to make Baldwin Swamp more attractive to frogs.
“We're cleaning up the lake edges and adding sedges and grasses which provide extra structure and some safe spots for frogs to come around the water.
“We're also connecting the lakes to a wetland section up around some melaleucas and this provides connectivity between two environments.
“We've also provided grasses and sedges for cover, and eventually we hope that frogs will come and inhabit this area.”
National Frog Week time to welcome frogs to backyards
They said residents could help the local frog population by making frog habitats in their backyards.
“One way that you can attract frogs into your yard is to build a frog hotel,” David said.
“To make a frog hotel simply buy a bucket, get some poly pipes – you can cut them about half a metre long – put them in your bucket, put some river stones in and around it to hold the pipes there and then fill with some water and leave them in the yard.
“If you build it, they will come, with a little bit of time.”
David said providing habitat for frogs was critically important with about a third of the species globally considered vulnerable to extinction.
“We don't want to lose them.
“It's really important to maintain natural areas to increase the number of frogs we have to try and counteract those threatening effects.”
National Frog Week runs from 1 to 7 November and coincides with FrogID Week from 6 to 15 November.
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