Frogs are an integral part of the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Winton Wetlands, with various species inhabiting the site.
Winton Wetlands is an ephemeral wetland system so frog populations vary greatly with changes to their environment during the different wet and drying cycles.
During the wet cycles frog numbers increase enormously and the calls of literally millions of frogs at times drown out all other noise. During dry cycles populations decrease, however sufficient numbers survive in the permanent marshes and ponds waiting for the rains and the opportunity to breed and once again swell the numbers.
Interestingly some frogs don’t always live in water or even in very close proximity to water. Some prefer grasslands, woodlands and even urban gardens. However frogs need water to be able to lay their eggs and have a sustainable environment for tadpoles.
Most frogs eat insects, bugs etc, some are carnivorous, some will also eat other frogs.
Threats to frogs
All frogs are threatened and susceptible to;
- Habitat destruction, disturbance, fragmentation and degradation
- Decline in water quality
- Foxes, cats
- Herbicides and Pesticides
- Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochyyrium)
A strong and healthy frog population is a very good indicator of the health of the system generally.
Species of frogs on the Winton Wetlands
The following frogs have been found on the wetlands. They’re listed here with the name we usually use to refer to them, other common names and (in brackets) the latin name
- Marsh Frog, also called Long Thumbed Frog or Barking Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes Fletcheri)
- Common Eastern Froglet, also called Common Froglet (Crinia Signifera)
- Eastern Sign Bearing Froglet also called Plains Froglet (Crinia Parinsignafera)
- Eastern Banjo Frog also called Pobblebonk or Southern Bullfrog (Limnodynastes Durmerilii)
- Spotted Grass Frog also called Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes Tasmaniensis)
- Peron’s Tree Frog also called Emerald-Spotted Frog or Laughing Tree Frog (Litoria Peronii)
- Peron’s Tree Frogs have a distinctive cross shaped pupil
Friends of Winton Wetlands and frog data
For many years, the Friends of Winton Wetlands carried out annual monitoring and sound recording across 11 different sites throughout the wetlands totalling between 700 and 800 hours.
These data are a valuable snapshot in time. Data collection is carried out at the same locations and same dates each year.
Data are used to identify different species and concentrations, and show how weather patterns and events affect the frog populations. The data are also shared with the Melbourne Museum and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority.