This Australian endemic is known from south-eastern Queensland in Cooloola (or Great Sandy) National Park on Fraser Island, and North Stradbroke Island.
Habitat and Ecology
The species is found in sandy coastal and island freshwater lakes and wallum creeks, where it has a preference for dense reed beds. It is a spring and summer breeder, with males calling from reeds or trees around freshwater lakes. Eggs are deposited on submerged vegetation; larvae are free-swimming.
It occurs in large numbers on Fraser Island.
High human visitation to the freshwater lakes important for breeding is a major threat, as is the trampling of reed beds and the pollution of water. Water extraction for sand mining and domestic use has had significant impacts on populations on North Stradbroke Island through habitat loss, deterioration in water quality and alterations in hydrology. More significantly, this species has virtually disappeared from Brown Lake on North Stradbroke Island following the introduction of predatory Gambusia fish there in 2003. However, overall these threats are relatively localized.
Most of the population is protected in the Cooloola or Great Sandy National Park. Fraser Island was inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Areas in 1992. Measures need to be taken to prevent the spread of Gambusia within its range, and to control the impacts of tourism.
Genetic, vocalization and morphological differences between the populations on Cooloola and Fraser Island and those on North Stradbroke Island indicate that the the latter might represent a distinct species or subspecies (James 2000; E. Meyer unpubl.).
Harry Hines, Ed Meyer, Jean-Marc Hero, David Newell, John Clarke 2004. Litoria cooloolensis. In: IUCN 2014