Population recovery following decline in an endangered stream-breeding frog (mixophyes fleayi) from subtropical Australia
Newell, DA, Goldingay, RL & Brooks, LO 2013, 'Population recovery following decline in an endangered stream-breeding frog (mixophyes fleayi) from subtropical Australia', PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 3.
Amphibians have undergone dramatic declines and extinctions worldwide. Prominent among these have been the streambreeding frogs in the rainforests of eastern Australia. The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been postulated as the primary cause of these declines. We conducted a capture-mark-recapture study over a 7-year period on the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) at two independent streams (30 km apart) in order to assess the stability of these populations. This species had undergone a severe decline across its narrow geographic range. Markrecapture modelling showed that the number of individuals increased 3–10 fold along stream transects over this period. Frog detection probabilities were frequently above 50% but declined as the populations increased. Adult survival was important to overall population persistence in light of low recruitment events, suggesting that longevity may be a key factor in this recovery. One male and female were present in the capture record for .6 years. This study provides an unambiguous example of population recovery in the presence of Bd.