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. 7: Peppered Tree Frog
2. Scientific Name
3. English Name
Peppered Tree Frog
4. Intraspecific taxa:
5. Species survival status
Vulnerable. This species is known from five localities, reported in the description of the species (Tyler and Davies 1985). The type series consists of 71 individuals, including adults and juveniles, collected between 1958 and 1973. Despite extensive searches only one population has been found since, and there is some taxonomic confusion associated with this. Resolution of the systematics and nomenclature are required to assist understanding of the conservation status of this species.
6. Former distribution
Confined to the New England Tableland, NSW, above 700m, from the Gibraltar Range to Armidale.
7. Current distribution
Recent searches have not located the species at any of the sites reported in the species description or in the intervening areas. However, survey outside the known range of the species in the New England Tableland, as part of the North East Forest Biodiversity Survey (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, H. Hines pers. comm.), apparently located a new population of the species. While the external morphology of the population closely resembles L. piperata, the mating call (considered to be a species isolating mechanism in frogs) is very similar to L. pearsoniana (M. Mahony pers. comm.). These frogs could not be genetically separated from L. pearsoniana, but further genetic and morphometric studies are underway to resolve the problem.
Riparian localities in dry eucalypt forest where there is dense grass cover.
9. Reasons for decline
10. Conservation reserves on which species occurs
NSW: Gara River Nature Reserve.
11. Other public lands on which species occurs
NSW: Mt Mitchell State Forest.
12. Other lands on which species occurs
Several of the type specimens were taken on freehold and leasehold land in the vicinity of Glen Innes.
13. Is knowledge about species adequate for objectives and actions to be defined accurately?
No. Virtually nothing is known of the biology of this species. The mating call has never been recorded and the tadpole has not been described.
14. Recovery Plan objectives
14.1. Clarify the taxonomy of the species.
14.2. Survey to determine the status of this species and record basic information about its natural history and biology.
14.3. Determine the cause of declines in the distribution and abundance of the species.
14.4. Make recommendations for habitat management designed to ensure the survival of the species and populations of the species.
15. Management actions completed or under way
The following actions have been completed as part of a project funded by the Endangered Species Program of Environment Australia and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service:
15.1. Surveys and genetic and morphometric studies.
15.2. Production of a brochure and transportable display to assist the public (in particular landholders and amateur naturalists) in identifying L. piperata. Subsequent community information program.
15.3. Species profiles and draft species management prescriptions have been jointly prepared by State Forests of NSW and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for protection of this species within production forest.
16. Management actions required
16.1. Produce an accurate distribution map for the species, and determine whether there has been a contraction in geographic range.
16.2. Determine the specific habitat requirements of the species.
16.3. Examine the reproductive biology of the species.
16.4. On the basis of the above, determine what management action is required.
17. Organisations responsible for conservation of species
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
18. Other organisations involved
University of Newcastle, Frog and Tadpole Study Group NSW Inc., State Forests of NSW.
19. Can recovery be carried out with existing resources?
Recovery plan is dependent on resolution of the systematic and nomenclature problem (currently underway). Initial work to finalise clarification of the taxonomy is estimated to cost $5K. Further research and management activities required are dependent on the results of taxonomic work. It would be prudent to link any future survey work to sampling for other species which have disappeared from the high altitudes on the New England Tableland, such as L. castanea.
Initial work $5K
Tyler, M.J. and Davies, M. 1985. A new species of Litoria (Anura: hylidae) from New South Wales. Copeia 1985 (1): 145-149.
Herpetological authorities consulted
L.C. Llewellyn, M.J. Mahony.