The status of rainforest stream frogs in northeastern New South Wales: decline or recovery?

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Goldingay, RL, Newell, DA & Graham, M 1999, 'The status of rainforest stream frogs in northeastern New South Wales: decline or recovery?', in A Campbell (ed.), Declines and disappearances of Australian frogs, Environment Australia, Canberra, ACT, pp. 64-71.


Rainforest stream-dwelling frogs have declined dramatically throughout eastern Australia.Wecollected baseline information on the distributionand relative abundance of these frogs in northeastern New South Wales.We established 100 m transects along rainforest streams at 54 sites and traversed these transects at night, counting all stream-dwelling frogs seen and heard calling. Repeat surveys were conducted at sites in1997-98 to accommodate the influence of prevailing weather conditions on frog activity.

Litoria pearsoniana was widespread in our study area, occurring at 38 sites at an abundance of 7.1 individuals per transect. In contrast, L. lesueurio ccurred at lower densities (4.2 individuals per transect, across 29 sites) but stream surveys may underestimate its abundance because it was commonly encountered on forest tracks at night. Mixophyes fasciolatus was detected at 29 sites withan average abundance of 2.9 individuals per transect. The distribution and abundance of these species were not significantly influenced by elevation. Single surveys of sites in early 1999 confirmed the distribution data. Mixophyes iteratus and Mixophyes fleayi were each found at nine sites from 1997 to 1999. The former was confined to low elevation sites while the latter occurred almost exclusively at high elevation. The rarity of these species is of great concern despite moderately high numbers at 2-4 sites. Further monitoring is required in order to resolve whether these frog populations are still in decline or have stabilised, and to identify key locations where intensive management programs should be initiated.