Population stability in the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) and a program for long-term monitoring

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Quick, G, Goldingay, RL, Parkyn, J & Newell, DA 2015, 'Population stability in the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) and a program for long-term monitoring', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 214-219.

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In the wake of the global decline in amphibians there is a need for long-term population monitoring. Previous research suggested that the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) had recovered after a severe decline. We aimed to determine whether this recovery has been sustained and to test an example of a monitoring program that could be employed at intervals of five or more years to assess long-term population stability. We conducted capture–mark–recapture five years after the last detailed census at Brindle Creek in Border Ranges National Park, New South Wales. Frogs were captured along a 200 m creek transect between September 2013 and February 2014. We used program Mark to estimate demographic parameters of adult male frogs using two modelling approaches: robust design (RD) and the POPAN formulation of the Jolly–Seber model. Abundance was estimated at 38.2 ± 0.5 (s.e.) (RD) and 46.0 ± 2.7 (POPAN). Abundance in 2008 was estimated at 53.2 ± 10.0 (POPAN) male frogs. Estimates of apparent monthly survival over our five-month-long study were very high (RD: 1.0 ± 0.0; POPAN: 1.0 ± 0.02). Recapture estimates were also high (RD: 0.40 ± 0.07 to 0.72 ± 0.05 per session; POPAN: 0.84 ± 0.05 per month). These data suggest that the Brindle Creek population has remained relatively stable over a period of ~10 years.