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. 25: Eungella Torrent Frog
2. Scientific Name
3. English Name
Eungella Torrent Frog, Eungella Day Frog
4. Intraspecific taxa:
5. Species survival status
Endangered. Since the description of this species there have been periods in which it has not been sighted, leading to expressions of concern about its conservation status (Winter and McDonald 1986, McDonald 1990).
6. Former distribution
Confined to the Clarke Range in Central coastal Queensland.
7. Current distribution
T. eungellensis has undergone a rapid range contraction, and, after a period of apparent absence, was located at nine sites within its former distribution (McNellie and Hero 1994, R. Retallick and J.-M. Hero pers. comm.). However, it was not located at some of these sites in an April 1996 survey (K.R. McDonald pers. comm.). Researchers note that the inaccessibility of some creek systems renders the search for individuals difficult, but that a better understanding of its distribution within the Eungella area is anticipated at the conclusion of the current research programme.
Creek beds within closed rainforests, at altitudes of 200-1000m.
9. Reasons for decline
Unknown. No environmental change has been reported within its former 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 Cathu and Mt Pelion State Forests, State Forest 62 Eungella and Gamma.
12. Other lands on which species occurs
On Dalrymple Road Farm adjacent to the National Park and State Forest.
13. Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately?
No. Research on this species is critical, since this is the only Taudactylus species extant, which is available to be easily studied in detail (three other species are "missing").
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 increase the number of stable populations by promoting expansion into the former range.
14.4. 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). The study includes autecology of T. eungellensis, survey and monitoring of population dynamics for this and other species, community ecology of stream-dwelling tadpoles, skeletochronology and genetics (in conjunction with M. Cunningham, University of Queensland).
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
Actions outlined for the species in the draft recovery plan include:
16.1. Long-term monitoring of populations.
16.2. Annual survey along streams with suitable habitat during the peak breeding season.
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, University of Queensland, 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
Hero, J-M. and Retallick, R.W.R. 1994. Eungella Frog Project: progress report, June 1994. Unpublished report to the Department of Environment and Heritage, Brisbane.
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(40): 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.
Winter, J. and McDonald, K.R. 1986. Eungella, the land of cloud. Australian Natural History 22(1): 39-43.
Herpetological authorities consulted:
K.R. McDonald, J.-M. Hero.