Michael J. Tyler
with the assistance of the Editorial Advisory Committee
Wildlife Australia, April 1997
ISBN 0 642 21400 X
Recovery Outline No. 11: Alpine Tree Frog
2. Scientific Name
Litoria verreauxii alpina
3. English Name
Alpine Tree Frog
4. Intraspecific taxa:
L. v. verreauxii
5. Species survival status
Vulnerable. In NSW L. v. alpina is in very reduced numbers, particularly at higher altitudes. It is not in the alpine zone (above 1800m) where it was previously common (Gillespie et al. 1995). In Victoria the status is not known, although it appears to have disappeared from the Baw Baw Plateau (G. Hollis pers. comm.).
6. Former distribution
Highlands of eastern Victoria, the ACT and southern NSW.
7. Current distribution
Current distribution is poorly known. Known from a few recent records at scattered locations, generally at lower altitudes.
Sub-alpine and alpine woodland, grassland and heath.
9. Reasons for decline
Unknown: may relate to the early 1980's droughts. Ultra-violet B radiation damage to developing eggs and embryos is strongly implicated in declines of alpine frogs in the United States and may also be a possibility for this species.
10. Conservation reserves on which species occurs
NSW: Kosciusko National Park; ACT: Namadgi National Park; Vic: Alpine and Buffalo National Parks.
11. Other public lands on which species occurs
Vic: Localised in some State Forests in the east; NSW: Buccleuch State Forest.
12. Other lands on which species occurs
13. Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately?
No. The developmental biology has been well documented, however, the environmental factors limiting distribution are unknown.
14. Recovery Plan objectives
14.1. To determine the species' status throughout its geographic range.
14.2. To research the causes of decline.
15. Management actions completed or under way
15.1. A review of the status of the species was undertaken as part of a general review of the status of alpine frogs (Gillespie et al. 1995).
15.2. A survey of the distribution and abundance of the species is currently being undertaken by the University of Canberra (W. Osborne).
15.3. The sensitivity of developing eggs and embryos to ultra-violet radiation is currently being investigated by the University of Canberra (W. Osborne).
16. Management actions required
16.1. To establish the geographic range and abundance of this sub-species precisely, to permit elucidation of any declines.
17. Organisations responsible for conservation of species
Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, State Forests of NSW, ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
18. Other organisations involved
University of Canberra.
19. Can recovery be carried out with existing resources?
A field survey is required to determine the existing range of the sub-species and seek any factors contributing to their decline: salaries $20K, field expenses $15K. Research is required into ultra-violet radiation, a possible cause of decline: salaries $50K per annum over two years.
Gillespie, G.R., Osborne, W.S. and McElhinny, N.A. 1995. The conservation status of frogs in the Australian Alps: A review. Report to the Australian Alps Liaison Committee, Canberra.
Herpetological authorities consulted:
G.R. Gillespie, G.J. Hollis, L.C. Llewellyn, W.S. Osborne.