We surveyed a population of the Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea in and around two coastal lagoons at Meroo National Park on the south coast of New South Wales. Six survey sessions were conducted between 2002 and 2008. Seven 250 m transects located around the edge of the lakes were surveyed at night for 30 minutes each. The first two survey sessions were conducted when the lakes were closed to the sea and their water levels relatively high. The next two survey sessions were conducted when Meroo Lake was open to the sea and the final one when the lake was closed but the water level low. All surveys were conducted after periods of rain to increase the probability of detecting frogs, particularly L. aurea. A total of 54 L. aurea was detected in December 2002 and 46 in February 2003. Breeding activity was observed at five sites. Recently metamorphosed frogs were observed during the late summer survey in 2003. Litoria aurea bred in brackish water having a salinity of 3 parts per thousand and existed within an environment that contained marine species of fish. A subset of three sites was resurveyed in November 2003 and February 2004 and 2007. Breeding activity was not observed during 2003 and 2004 and only 3-4 frogs were detected. Breeding was recorded in 2007 but no recruitment occurred. No breeding activity was recorded in 2008. Surveys for L. aurea should be conducted after periods of intense rain in spring to maximise detectability. For coastal lagoons this should co-incide with periods when they are closed to the sea and the elevated water level floods shallow sedgelands. Major management issues for this population include a more comprehensive assessment of population size and habitat use, artificial opening of the lakes and the potential for the Plague Minnow Gambusia holbrooki to colonise the waterbodies from farms higher up in the catchment.
Surveys for the Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea at Meroo National Park on the south coast of New South Wales
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Garry Daly, Philip Craven, Alex Hyatt; Surveys for the Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea at Meroo National Park on the south coast of New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 October 2008; 34 (3): 303–313. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2008.008
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