The Southern Bell Frog Litoria raniformis has declined dramatically in distribution and abundance in New South Wales, where it is presently considered ‘endangered’. However, cultivation of rice through irrigation has created suitable habitat for this species, thus enabling it to colonise some, but not all, rice-growing areas. One such area, the Coleambally Irrigation Area, presently contains a large proportion of the remaining known locations of the species in New South Wales. Within this area this frog is widespread and locally abundant, and it uses flooded rice fields for breeding, though there are other kinds of water bodies that may also be used for breeding. The seasonal flooding regime for the rice mirrors the breeding requirements for this frog species. However, through reduction in flooding of natural habitat areas, diversion of water to rice and other irrigation-based agriculture has probably also contributed to the decline of this frog species and reversal of this through ‘environmental flows’ along rivers could be to its benefit. Its conservation in New South Wales is therefore likely to depend on the nature and extent of rice-growing in this state.
Rice-growing and conservation of the Southern Bell Frog Litoria raniformis in New South Wales, Australia
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Graham Pyke, Glenn Muir; Rice-growing and conservation of the Southern Bell Frog Litoria raniformis in New South Wales, Australia. Australian Zoologist 1 October 2008; 34 (3): 453–458. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2008.023
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