A City of Sydney plan to boost native animal numbers is beginning to increase frog numbers in the inner city.
Striped marsh frog tadpoles have been spotted at Lewis Hoad Reserve, Forest Lodge, in one of two recently established frog ponds in the local area.
Young locals Luke and Isabel Criniti visited the pond to inspect the tadpoles during the school holidays.
The second pond at Kimberley Grove in Rosebery was built to attract the endangered green and golden bell frog, and the City’s urban ecologist is looking out for their re-appearance in the area.
The once ubiquitous green and golden bell frog has suffered a dramatic decline in numbers over the last 30 years, largely due to habitat loss and disease. The striped marsh frog is more common along the east coast of Australia.
“Development of the inner city has resulted in a loss of habitat for native frogs, particularly the green and golden bell frog, which is one of our priority native species – but we’re very encouraged by the discovery of striped marsh frog tadpoles in the new pond at Forest Lodge,” the Lord Mayor said.
The City’s urban ecology coordinator, Sophie Golding, said frogs struggled to find suitable habitat in the inner city.
“The last population of the City’s green and golden bell frogs were living in a Rosebery resident’s dilapidated above-ground pool, which was then replaced by two purpose-built frog ponds,” Ms Golding said.
“Unfortunately, this small population of frogs has all but disappeared but I’m hopeful they’ll return to Rosebery. Creating these opportunities for wildlife habitat is the first step to recovering this species in the inner city.
“Striped marsh frogs are a very resilient species and will generally be the first frog to pop up in backyard frog ponds. Having them appear in Forest Lodge in a short space of time is a great indicator we are on the right track.”
Green and golden bell frogs are generally large, measuring between 45 mm to 100 mm with a gold or creamy white stripe and bright green to golden brown skin.
Striped marsh frogs are generally around 70 mm long with varying striped shades of black and brown.
“We’re also asking residents to consider opportunities in their own courtyards or backyards for small frog habitat creation,” Ms Golding said.
The City is carrying out bird and microbat surveys to compare current numbers to the baseline data used to develop the City’s Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan in 2015.
Residents who observe frogs in the City are asked to contact the City of Sydney’s Urban Ecology Coordinator Sophie Golding on 02 9265 9333.