National Recovery Plan for the Stuttering Frog Mixophyes balbus
Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne, 2011
The decline of amphibian populations, both in Australia and worldwide, has received much attention over the past two decades (refer to Alford & Richards 1999 for review). Within Australia, since the late 1970s, at least three frog species may have become extinct and a further 37 species have declined to levels warranting consideration for listing as threatened nationally (Hero & Morrison 2004). Many of these declines appear to have occurred abruptly and at about the same time, suggesting common causal factors. Of major concern is that many of these declines have occurred within protected areas (e.g. national parks, nature reserves), where environmental disturbance appears minimal.
The Stuttering Frog (Mixophyes balbus) is one species that has suffered an extensive decline in distribution and abundance. Formerly occurring from north-eastern New South Wales to far eastern Victoria, the species is now rare or absent throughout much of its former range. Precise causes of decline are not known, but are thought to include disease, habitat modification, introduced fish and climate change. The Stuttering Frog is listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), Endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.
This Recovery Plan summarises our current knowledge of the Stuttering Frog, documents the conservation research and management actions undertaken to date, and identifies the actions required and parties responsible to ensure the ongoing viability of this species in the wild. Achieving the objectives of this Recovery Plan is subject to budgetary and other constraints affecting the parties involved. It is necessary that this Recovery Plan be viewed as dynamic, such that changes are made in the priority or structure of recovery actions as new information arises.