AMPHIBIAWEB
Litoria olongburensis
Olongburra Frog, Wallum Sedgefrog
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Pelodryadinae

© 2013 Nathan Litjens (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
CITES No CITES Listing
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

 

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From the IUCN Red List Species Account:

 

Range Description

This species is distributed from Lake Woongeel, Fraser Island, south to near Woolgoolga including Bribie, Moreton and Stradbroke Island, south-east Queensland, Australia (Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999).

Habitat and Ecology

This species inhabits coastal sand plains and dunes of "the wallum" (Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999). Vegetation types typical of these environments include heath land, Melaleuca swamp, sedge land and Banksia woodland (Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999). It is associated with low pH waters characteristic of wallum environments, usually found in sedge swamps, and less commonly in coastal lakes and creek environs (Liem and Ingram 1977; James 1996; Ehmann 1997). During wet periods these swamps are heavily inundated and the species can be found clinging to emergent vegetation (grasses, reeds and Bungwall Fern; E. Meyers pers. comm.). During dry periods individuals may be found at the base of sedges, grass clumps and/or Bungwall Fern in the same swamps (E. Meyer pers. comm.). Ingram and Corben (1975) termed this species an ‘acid’ frog as it is confined to sandy heaths and their acidic water. Non-breeding habitat is not known. Limited information is available on the breeding biology of the species. Ehmann (1997) recorded males calling in spring, summer and early autumn at night and by day when swamps were rising or ample water was available. It mainly breeds following heavy rain in perched swamps, amidst sedges, grasses and/or Bungwell Fern (Blechnum indicum) in still water 0.5-1.5m deep (E. Meyer pers. comm.). The wallum waters in which the species breeds are typically heavily tanin-stained, highly acidic and generally dilute (E. Meyer pers. comm.). Eggs are attached to grasses and sedges and larvae are nektonic in form and dwell amongst reeds and grasses in water 0.5-1.5m deep (E. Meyer pers. comm.). Fish are largely absent from habitat occupied by the species (E. Meyer pers. comm.).

Population

There is no information on population size, structure or dynamics (Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999). The species exhibits genetic structuring on a north-south gradient (James 1996). Populations in northern New South Wales, North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Island and Cooloola-Fraser are each genetically different and significantly divergent from each other, and should be considered demographically independent due to their insular nature (James 1996).

Population Trend

Decreasing

Major Threats

Populations appear to be relatively stable in protected habitat; however, this species is at risk from continuing loss of habitat through clearing for agriculture, pine plantations, housing and infrastructure such as canal development, drainage projects and transport corridors (Ingram and McDonald 1993; Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999). Melaleuca forest and heathland are particularly threatened and have been extensively cleared since 1974 (Catterall and Kingston 1993) suggesting an extensive loss of habitat. Other threats include habitat degradation through changes in hydrological regimes, increased nutrients or sediments, weed invasion, inappropriate fire management, competition from invading frog species and predation from introduced fish (Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999). Weed invasion is a potentially threatening process (Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999). Competition from invading frog species and predation from introduced fish (i.e., Gambusia holbrooki) have been identified as potentially threatening processes (Ehmann 1997; Hines, Mahony and McDonald 1999) but further research is required.

Conservation Actions

The range of the species includes several protected areas.

Citation

Harry Hines, David Newell, Ed Meyer, Jean-Marc Hero, John Clarke 2004. Litoria olongburensis. In: IUCN 2014

 

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