River

Barking Marsh Frog calls farm dam home

The Barking Marsh Frog is the frog of the month for May as part of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s 2022 Year of the Frog community awareness campaign.

The Barking Marsh Frog is the frog of the month as part of the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority’s 2022 Year of the Frog community awareness campaign.

This project is supported by the Goulburn Broken CMA (GB CMA) through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

GB CMA project officer, Janice Mentiplay-Smith, said the Barking Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes fletcheri) could be found under damp rocks, logs and even yabby burrows in the local Grey Box grassy woodlands environment.

“The short, ‘barking dog’ whrup……whurp call is made by the male Barking Marsh Frog, usually from floating vegetation, while seeking a mate,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“The female needs still water such as a farm dam to lay her eggs so if you live on a property with water, from a small waterhole to a large farm dam, you can make a difference for this frog.

“Farm dams are increasingly seen as not only necessary farm infrastructure, but as wonderful opportunities to increase biodiversity in the farming landscape.”

Ms Mentiplay-Smith said even small waterholes or low areas on a property that collect water after a big rain event were important to the Barking Marsh Frog, if a little bit of habitat was present.

“Protecting farm dams by fencing them from stock and allowing vegetation to grow or even dragging a few logs to the water’s edge creates habitat for frogs,” she said.

“When you protect farm dams it helps to improve water quality, which in turn makes for more attractive homes for a variety of animals and insects including frogs, which are hyper-sensitive to water condition.”

The Australian National University Sustainable Farms project has information on how to adapt and rehabilitate farm dams for frog and other wildlife habitat, while retaining their original purpose as a source of farm water: Enhance farm dams – ANU Sustainable Farms Farm-dams-brochure-v3_online.pdf (sustainablefarms.org.au) Farm-Dam-Planting-Guide-brochure-8.2.pdf (sustainablefarms.org.au)

The Goulburn Broken Catchment’s grey box grassy woodlands are a focus of the GB CMA Linking Landscapes and Communities Project that works with landowners, communities and Traditional Owners to improve this critical habitat.

Throughout 2022, the Goulburn Broken CMA and partners are celebrating the Year of the Frog, featuring a local frog species each month. For more information contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 0418 316 169 or email: janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Photo: The Frog of the Month for May is the Barking Marsh Frog. Photo by Chris Tzaros.