Sydney, where have all the green tree frogs gone?
POPULATIONS OF the iconic green tree frog have declined around Sydney, according to data collected by a large-scale citizen science project.
The researchers behind the FrogID app, which asks Australians to record frog calls with their phones, say that the croaks of the green tree frog have been “noticeably absent.”
Approximately 7,000 frog calls have been recorded from the Greater Sydney area, and only 52 of those were green tree frogs, many of which came from outside of Sydney.
“We don’t yet know how much the green tree frog has declined,” says frog expert Jodi Rowley, who’s also the driving force behind FrogID.
“It varies throughout the Greater Sydney area- certainly they appear absent from the inner city, where they once were, but they are hanging on around the fringes.”
According to Jodi, the decline could be attributed to a combination of factors, including predation by dogs and cats, road mortality, and the lack of suitable breeding habitat.
Affectionately known as the ‘dunny frog’, the green tree frog is one of Australia’s most recognisable amphibians.
Sydneysiders aren’t taking the news of the green tree frogs decline well.
“I think Sydneysiders are upset that we seem to have lost this large, loveable frog throughout much of Sydney,” says Jodi.
“Several people have told me that they used to see the green tree frog when they grew up in Sydney, and are sad that they don’t see it anymore.”
Frogs nationwide are facing tough times. Up to about 40 per cent of all frog species, both worldwide and in Australia, are now threatened with extinction.