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Froggie adventures!

September 23, 2018

Another exciting froggie adventure for the frog team - this time we braved a night of pouring rain at Border Ranges National Park (thankfully the second night was dry), plus a day expedition to Toonumbar NP find the elusive Richmond Range Mountain frog (Philoria richmondensis)!


Sherwood lookout in Toonumbar NP was a great spot for lunch, overlooking the habitats of the closely-related mountain frogs, the red and yellow mountain frog (P. kundagungan), the masked mountain frog (P. loveridgei) and the Richmond Range mountain frog (P. richmondensis). 

After a short hike we found some beautiful rainforest creeks covered in rainforest spinach - perfect habitat for P. richmondensis! Katelyn volunteered to help us out on this trip.

We then started a diurnal stream transect looking for a cryptic frog...

Dave, our expert frog ecologist, is not afraid to get his hands dirty (searching for frogs can be muddy work!).

And lo and behold, we found one! A gorgeous adult male Richmond Range mountain frog (P. richmondensis)! Don't be mistaken - this photo was taken after the frog had been washed of all his mud - he normally lives happily in mud burrows!

Here's the team collecting data on our little froggie friend (left to right: Dr. Dave Newell, Thais, Liam and Katelyn). Liam Bolitho is leading this research on the Richmond Range mountain frog as part of his PhD work. 

It is truly magnificent rainforest...

With stunning old trees with buttress roots...

On the way out we spotted a large but tightly curled carpet python having a nap at the side of the road. 

On our night surveys we found > 20 Fleay's barred frogs (Mixophyes fleayi), despite being so early in the season!  

And most exciting of all, we found Fleay's barred frog egg masses! That little bit of rain did the trick! 

Here's Thais gathering a mass measurement on a Fleay's barred frog. 

And here Dave's scanning the frog with a PIT-tag scanner to determine if it's one we have previously found at this site. 

 

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