We monitored a population of Stuttering Frog Mixophyes balbus tadpoles in Macquarie Pass National Park near Albion Park on the south coast of New South Wales. The species was initially detected by the presence of tadpoles at one site in 2000. Surveys thereafter were conducted at this site and the broader catchment of Macquarie Rivulet in an attempt to detect adults and or other tadpoles. Fifteen 250 m transects located along perennial creeks were surveyed at night for 30 min each and diurnal searches for tadpoles were conducted along approximately five km of creekline. About 200-300 tadpoles were recorded at this same site in January 2005; this cohort declined to about 15 tadpoles by September 2005. A total of 20 small tadpoles were taken into captivity in January 2005 in an attempt to maintain a captive population. Swab samples taken from free-living tadpoles indicated the presence of the frog chytrid fungus, Bactrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Mixophyes balbus may no longer persist at this site and managers now have to decide if the last cohort should be allowed to breed in captivity or an attempt made to outbreed this contracted genetic base. The captive population raises the dilemma, what should we do with captive populations that represents the last genetic vestige of an isolated population that may not persist in the wild?
The disappearance of the Stuttering Frog Mixophyes balbus at Macquarie Pass National Park, New South Wales
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Garry Daly, Philip Craven; The disappearance of the Stuttering Frog Mixophyes balbus at Macquarie Pass National Park, New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2011; 35 (3): 846–852. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2011.036
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