Help with identifying local frogs
Posted on 29 July, 2021 by Jacqui
With some better rainfall in our region over the past few months, you may be noticing frogs calling in our local creeks, dams and wetter areas.
If you hear a frog call that you can’t identify, the FrogID App can be handy with identifying tricky frog calls of our region.
FrogID is Australia’s first national citizen science frog identification initiative – a project led by the Australian Museum in partnership with Australia’s leading natural history museums and IBM. It is free but you do need to create a profile to record frog calls which then uploads the records to the Australian Museum frog experts for species verification.
One of the reasons to use the FrogID app is to ensure that all frog records are verified prior to entering records into the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), the largest database of flora and fauna records in Australia. Records entered directly in the ALA are not verified, and it was recently discovered that there were some incorrect records of frog species entered in the Mount Alexander region. The ALA contains a number of sightings in our area of Striped Marsh Frog, which was previously rare in this region. However, upon closer assessment by frog experts, they suspect the frog recordings are actually the Spotted Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis), not the Striped Marsh Frog (Limndoynastes peroni). The two calls are similar and easily confused.
This is an important case study of how incorrect identification can potentially affect distribution datasets. This is not the case with the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, as every record submitted by users is verified for possible errors or mistaken identification.
The frog recordings submitted via the FrogID app are often verified in less than 24 hours, and it is a great resource to improve your skills and learn a lot more about frogs along the journey.
In just one year, FrogID generated the equivalent of 13% of all frog records collected in Australia over the last 240 years – an amazing effort! The submitted recordings have resulted in over 66,000 validated calls and detected 175 of Australia’s 240 known native frogs.
The data has provided information about:
- Impacts of climate change and pollution on Australia’s frogs including the first evidence of the decline in Sydney of the Australian Green Tree Frog.
- Spread of the invasive Cane Toad.
- Breeding populations of 28 globally threatened and 13 nationally threatened frog species.
The FrogID science blog has some interesting articles on frog ID and what happens for frogs in urbanised environments.
To download the FrogID App – click here