HOP TO IT: Eva Ford is a natural fit for the Find a Frog in February count.
HOP TO IT: Eva Ford is a natural fit for the Find a Frog in February count. John McCutcheon

Counting on frog future as big wet helps spotters

FEBRUARY'S late big wet is enough to have frog fanciers in Noosa hopping about with glee in the downpours, carrying out an amphibian census of a species in danger of croaking.

Eva Ford, known as the frog lady of the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee, is hoping the cloud bursts will see a late surge in sighting as part of Find a Frog in February program.

"We have received over 600 records already, from over 50 frog finders in the region with records coming in from the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Noosa, Gympie and Fraser Coast regions,” Ms Ford said.

"Submitted records to date have shown presence of 15 species of frogs but we know there are many more species in the catchment area. Twenty-two species were found in 2017 so frog finders are encouraged to beat this record,” she said in the final week of the count.

"Frogs are a vital component of our ecosystems and are easily affected by changes in the air, water and land. The more we know about where frogs are the better we can manage their habitats.”

Ms Ford said this program encouraged people to get outside and contribute their findings to the Queensland Government's WildNet database for the use of citizens, researchers and planners, "ensuring our frogs have a better future”.

"We know from past studies that the Mary River catchment is home to around 40 frog species,”

she said.

"This important citizen science research program provides an opportunity for community members to collect data that will contribute to our understanding of how frogs are responding to changes in our environment.”

Ms Ford was expecting frog counters to hop to it, taking froggy photographs and make frog call recordings. She said the big wet was when frogs were most active.

Citizen scientists will be asked to send their completed record sheets, photos and sound bites to the committee and the experts will help with identification.


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