National recovery plan for Stream Frogs of South-east Queensland 2001-2005

Prepared by Harry Hines
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
and the South-east Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team, 2002

Summary

This document is a five-year multi-species plan for the recovery of seven threatened stream frogs of south-east Queensland. The southern dayfrog and southern gastric-brooding frog declined and disappeared in the late 1970s to early 1980s. They have not been located since then, despite considerable survey effort. All other species are reported to have undergone population declines, although these are sometimes poorly quantified. One of these species, the cascade tree frog, declined markedly in Queensland in the late 1970s early 1980s. However, numbers have since shown some recovery.

As the causes of the declines and disappearances are unknown, ongoing monitoring of key sites and investigations into the causes of declines are essential actions in the plan. These activities are central to the development of effective threat abatement measures and ultimately species recovery.

This recovery plan details the decline, possible threats, and current and proposed monitoring, research and management actions required for recovery of these species. The estimated total cost of implementing this plan is $1.3 million and involves the co-operative efforts of community groups, researchers, land managers and funding agencies.

Habitat requirements and limiting factors

The seven species considered in this plan are stream-associated forest-dependent frogs of the eastern escarpment. They are generally found in moister forest types (rainforest and wet sclerophyll) over a wide range of elevations, but most often occur in the ranges and foothills. They breed in a range of stream environments.

The major threatening processes have not yet been identified, despite documentation of population declines. Investigation of disease as a threatening process is one of the objectives of this recovery plan.

Overall objective

To significantly improve the conservation status and long term survival of each species through protection of its habitat, and through location of additional populations or expansion of existing populations into areas currently uninhabited.

Specific objectives (2001 2005)

  1. To down list the cascade tree frog from endangered to vulnerable within five years based on IUCN (2001) criteria of population size and trends, extent of occurrence and probability of extinction.
  2. To determine whether the southern gastric-brooding frog and the southern dayfrog are extant.
  3. To secure existing populations of extant species.
  4. To investigate disease as a key threatening process.
  5. To increase the number of populations of extant species by facilitating expansion into their former range.

Nineteen performance criteria will be used to assess the success of the recovery program. The recovery team and two independent reviewers will review this recovery plan at the end of the third year.

Actions

  1. Manage the recovery process.
  2. Monitor populations.
  3. Gain information required for management.
  4. Protect populations and manage habitat.
  5. Provide education and information.