Michael J. Tyler
with the assistance of the Editorial Advisory Committee
Wildlife Australia, April 1997
ISBN 0 642 21400 X
Recovery Outline No. 22: Eungella Gastric Brooding Frog
2. Scientific Name
3. English Name
Eungella Gastric Brooding Frog, Stream Frog, Northern Gastric Brooding Frog, and Northern Platypus Frog have been used.
4. Intraspecific taxa:
5. Species survival status
Endangered. Discovered in January 1984. However, despite intensive searches the species has not been seen in the wild since March 1985 (Martin and McDonald 1996).
6. Former distribution
R. vitellinus was found in the Clarke Range in mid-coastal Queensland at altitudes of 400-1000m, in Eungella National Park and Mt Pelion State Forest (McDonald 1990). The discrete, isolated nature of the Clarke Ranges suggests that it is unlikely that it was more extensive prior to its discovery in 1984 (Covacevich and McDonald 1993).
7. Current distribution
No change in the geographic range was observed, or suspected, between its discovery and disappearance. Any existing population is presumed to be within the former range, because of the specialised nature of this environment.
Confined to shallow rocky broken water areas in the cascades and riffles of fast flowing streams in rainforest above 400m altitude.
9. Reasons for decline
Unknown. No environmental change has been reported within any part of its former geographic range. McDonald (1990) excluded over-collecting, drought, floods, habitat destruction, stress, disease and parasite loads.
10. Conservation reserves on which species occurs
Qld: Eungella National Park.
11. Other public lands on which species occurs
Qld: Mt Pelion State Forest.
12. Other lands on which species occurs
13. Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately?
No. Although every effort was made to obtain relevant information in the short period that the species was known, it remains inadequate, and a serious impediment to any conservation program.
14. Recovery Plan objectives
14.1. To verify the continued existence of the species.
14.2. To reduce or eliminate threatening processes.
14.3. To ensure that frog conservation is considered in all relevant land management decisions and that awareness of the problem of frog declines within all levels of government and the community is raised.
15. Management actions completed or under way
15.1. Survey for this species has been carried out as part of a recovery program for the threatened frogs of Qld and northern NSW (Co-ordinator: K.R. McDonald, Qld Department of Environment).
15.2. A draft recovery plan has been prepared for the stream-dwelling frogs of the Eungella region, including this species (Martin and McDonald 1996).
15.3. The frogs of Eungella, including this species, have been the subject of post-graduate study since 1994 (R. Retallick, James Cook University).
15.4. A large scale search for threatened frogs, including this species, was conducted in 1993 (McNellie and Hero 1994).
15.5. A poster on the stream-dwelling frogs of the Eungella region was prepared by J.-M. Hero (James Cook University) and S. Fickling to assist biologists and the general public with identification of the species.
16. Management actions required
Management actions outlined for the species in the draft recovery plan include:
16.1. Annual survey along streams with suitable habitat during the peak breeding season.
16.2. Monitoring of populations if discovered.
16.3. Production of a brochure to disseminate information to State conservation agencies, other government departments, community groups, industry, local authorities and the general public about declining frogs in the region.
16.4. Training of volunteers to participate in the survey monitoring of frog populations in the region.
16.5. Consultation with relevant land managers to ensure protection of habitat.
17. Organisations responsible for conservation of species
Qld Department of Environment.
18. Other organisations involved
James Cook University, Qld Department of Natural Resources, amateur frog clubs.
19. Can recovery be carried out with existing resources?
Draft recovery plan for Eungella frogs, including this species, recommends: population monitoring ($30K), disease research if appropriate (uncosted), captive breeding and translocation ($166K), ecological research ($53.4 K), genetic studies ($2K), public information, community awareness and consultation ($20.3K). Total cost (2 species over 5 years) $274.4K.
Total (average cost per species) $137.2K
Covacevich, J.A. and McDonald, K.R. 1993. Distribution and conservation of frogs and reptiles of Queensland rainforests. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 34(1): 189-199.
Martin W. E and McDonald, K.R. 1996. Draft recovery plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the Eungella region of mid-east Queensland. Unpublished report to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra.
McDonald, K.R. 1990. Rheobatrachus Liem and Taudactylus Straughan and Lee (Anura: Leptodactylidae) in Eungella National Park, Queensland: distribution and decline. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 114: 187-194.
McNellie, M. and Hero, J-M. 1994. Mission Amphibian: the search for the missing rainforest frogs of Eungella. pp. 22-23 in Wildlife Australia , Summer 1994 edition.
Herpetological authorities consulted:
J.-M. Hero, M.J. Mahony, K.R. McDonald.