The Action Plan for Australian Frogs
Michael J. Tyler
with the assistance of the Editorial Advisory Committee
Wildlife Australia, April 1997
ISBN 0 642 21400 X
Recovery Outline No. 23: Sharp-nosed Torrent Frog
2. Scientific Name
3. English Name
Sharp-nosed Torrent Frog, Sharp-nosed Day Frog
4. Intraspecific taxa:
5. Species survival status
Endangered. The species has undergone a massive and rapid range contraction with only one adult encountered in the wild since February 1994, despite intensive surveys across the range of the species (McDonald and Martin unpubl. data, J.-M. Hero pers. comm.) Declines commenced in 1989 and had a northwards progression (Richards et al. 1993, Laurance et al. 1996).
6. Former distribution
Historical records range between Mount Graham (18°24'S, 145°52'E) to Big Tableland (15°42'S, 145°16'E) at altitudes 300-1300m (McDonald 1992) in north eastern Queensland.
7. Current distribution
There are no known populations extant.
Closely associated with rocks, roots and leaf litter close to rainforest streams.
9. Reasons for decline
Unknown. Richards et al. (1993) reject drought, floods, habitat destruction or pollution by pesticides, inorganic ions or heavy metals.
10. Conservation reserves on which species occurs
Qld: Lumholtz, Wooroonooran, Daintree, Crater, Cedar Bay, and Tully Falls National Parks.
11. Other public lands on which species occurs
Qld Timber Reserve (165 Monkhouse), Lamb Range, Malbon Thompson Range, Herberton Range, Ravenshoe, Kirrama Range, Mt Fisher, Maalan, Mt Lewis, and Windsor State Forests, State Forest (757 Japoon)
12. Other lands on which species occurs
13. Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately?
No. While the tadpole has been described, details of development, diet and ecological requirements are unknown.
14. Recovery Plan objectives
14.1. To establish the continued existence of the species.
14.2. To determine the causal agent/s responsible for the decline.
14.3. To reduce or eliminate threatening processes.
14.4. To ensure that frog conservation is considered in all relevant land management decisions.
15. Management actions completed or under way
15.1. This species, along with seven other Wet Tropics species, is the subject of a recovery program for threatened frogs of Qld and northern NSW (Coordinator: K.R. McDonald, Qld Department of Environment). The program involves survey, monitoring, ecological research and research into potential causes of decline.
15.2. A draft recovery plan has been prepared (Martin and McDonald 1995).
16. Management actions required
Management actions outlined in the draft recovery plan include:
16.2. Research into causes of decline.
16.3. Ecological research.
16.4. Captive breeding.
16.5. Genetic studies.
16.6. Public information.
17. Organisations responsible for conservation of species
Qld Department of Environment.
18. Other organisations involved
James Cook University, Qld Department of Natural Resources, Wet Tropics Management Authority, amateur frog clubs.
19. Can recovery be carried out with existing resources?
Draft recovery plan for Wet Tropics frogs, including this species, includes: survey and monitoring ($75K per annum); identification of cause of decline (total cost $249K); and captive breeding (total cost $504K). Total cost of implementation of the draft Recovery Plan is estimated at $1647K over 5 years (7 species).
Total (average cost per species) $235.3K
Laurance, W.F., McDonald, K.R. and Speare R. 1996. Epidemic disease and the catastrophic decline of Australian rainforest frogs. Conservation Biology 10(2): 406-413.
Martin, W.E. and McDonald, K.R. 1995. Draft recovery plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the Wet Tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland. Unpublished report to the Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Canberra.
McDonald, K.R. 1992. Distribution patterns and conservation status of north Queensland rainforest frogs. Conservation Technical Report No. 1. Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage, Brisbane.
Richards, S.J., McDonald, K.R., and Alford, R.A. 1993. Declines in populations of Australia's endemic tropical rainforest frogs. Pacific Conservation Biology 1: 66-77.
Herpetological authorities consulted:
R.A. Alford, J.-M. Hero, M.J. Mahony, K.R. McDonald, S.J. Richards.