Freshwater conservation workers conduct evaluation of local frog and amphibian species in the field. Photo: Kate Mason.
Freshwater conservation workers conduct evaluation of local frog and amphibian species in the field. Photo: Kate Mason.

‘Smarter’ management needed to stop wave of extinction

A HEALTHY frog was a sign of a healthy river a Mackay environmentalist said, but researches have warned these vulnerable creatures are on the front line of extinction.

To mark Earth Day on Wednesday, Flinders University researchers issued a dire warning as frog's wetland homes.

Global Ecology professor Corey Bradshaw said 41 per cent of the amphibian species were threatened due to increased pressure on their habitats.

"So with continued climate change we have to be smarter about managing water to maintain critical habitats and save our threatened amphibians from extinction," Mr Bradshaw said.

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Reef Catchments acting co-ordinator of water and waterways Carlos Bueno conducting water sampling in Bakers Creek at Ooralea.
Reef Catchments acting co-ordinator of water and waterways Carlos Bueno conducting water sampling in Bakers Creek at Ooralea.

As Reef Catchments's acting co-ordinator of water and waterways Carlos Bueno often finds himself wading through the local frogs' home.

He said more was needed to protect the native frogs in Mackay from threats like invasive species, pollution and climate change.

Reef Catchments acting co-ordinator of water and waterways Carlos Bueno with an automatic water sampler.
Reef Catchments acting co-ordinator of water and waterways Carlos Bueno with an automatic water sampler.

"We have some really amazing frogs that can do amazing things," he said.

"(But) there's a lot of challenges (to waterway systems)."

"Mackay has known to have a problem with nutrients and pesticide run off."

A strong wet season has filled the region's water ways, Mr Bueno said, but the above average water levels would not last as a drier winter was predicted.


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