Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tusked Frogs at my Coles Creek Property

Tonight I went down just to look for the Tusked Frogs. I could hear several calling out again tonight as soon as I arrived in the area where they are found. Most of them stopped calling as soon as I approached. A few kept calling so I looked beneath the debris to find them. I didn't have any luck for nearly 2 hours. In that whole time I only got to move a few branches and a little leaf litter and they stopped calling. Just as I was about to give up I heard a strong call on the edge of the bank just beneath a few leaves. I was able to scoop this frog straight out of the water. Unfortunately as I put down my torch to take the photo, the frog jumped into a pile of leaves and I lost sight of him. I was disappointed in myself for not obtaining at least one photo.
I thought I will try for another 10 minutes or so down a little further where the water is a little deeper. In this section they were more numerous. I would have heard at least 30 individuals calling out. I honed in on one calling out close to the bank where there was little debris and I found one straight away. I was able to get several photos of this specimen luckily. The photos aren't as good as many of my other shots as I was rushing to get the shots so I could put it back in the water. I don't like having to actually catch the frogs I photograph and rarely do so, but due to where these frogs are found it would be nearly impossible to get a photo without catching them and moving them out of the debris. These frogs are strange in many ways! One of these oddities is they pretend they are dead when they are picked up. This is something that no other frog I have seen or handled personally has done.
Now I have got a photo of them at the property again I will leave them be. I wanted to get a recent photo of them on the property in hope to have the property protected in the future as these frogs are listed as endangered in this area.  While searching for them tonight I went into some new parts of the creeks that I haven't been able to access since the floods on Australia Day and I heard over 50 individuals which is quite a lot more than I have ever heard. This is probably due to 5 floods through the property in less than 12 months and this has brought in lots of debris into a few of the creeks on the property which increases the suitable habitat for them. Hopefully this trend of population growth will continue.

Tusked Frog

The Tusked Frog from it's left side

The Tusked Frog from it's right side

The Tusked Frog from ground level

The Tusked Frog from above

The Tusked Frog from front on
Hopefully over the next few weeks I will get a chance to go out and find some of the other frogs that are less common on the property. There are 8 or 9 other species of frogs that can be seen occasionally on the property in low numbers. In other areas these less common frogs here are common but I want to get a collection of photos of all the frogs on this 45 acre property. The only other frog that is or was regularly seen that I haven't put in a post in the last 6 weeks or so is the Wrinkled Toadlet. To be honest I haven't actually heard or seen any since the start of the wet season in November 2011. Hopefully they are still on the property. This will be the next frog that I will attempt to find. If they are still here their numbers have definitely declined.

That takes the total to 14 different frog species in the last 6 weeks, all of which can be seen easily on the property and most of which can be seen in massive numbers. Once I get some more photos I will post them. Keep checking in regularly for more updates.

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