Sunny Coast community bands together to build new frog habitat

22 March 2018

The vulnerable wallum sedgefrog will soon have a new home on the Sunshine Coast thanks to a community project designed to preserve the native frog's vital habitat. 

On Tuesday, Healthy Land and Water co-ordinated the official launch of the frog breeding pond project which is situated in the 700-hectare Aura Conservation Zone, part of Stockland’s Aura community development on the Sunshine Coast.

As part of the launch and to coincide with World Wetland Day, students from Unity College joined frog experts, Traditional Owners and developers to install about 820 plants, rushes and sedges along and inside the recently-excavated pond, a historical wetland site cleared in the 1960s.

Once settled, the new pond is designed to provide an ideal breeding and protection habitat for acid frogs and particularly the wallum sedgefrog, which depends on swamps and freshwater lakes and marshes to survive.

Native to the coastal regions of Queensland and New South Wales, the wallum sedgefrog is a small, colourful amphibian whose species has become increasingly threatened due to habitat loss and competition. 

The pond project is the latest example of efforts to offset habitat loss by establishing a ‘frog highway’ on the Sunshine Coast, allowing acid frogs to move freely and without interruption to other nearby ponds.

Stockland worked in partnership with Healthy Land and Water, field experts Traditional Owners including Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation, Kabi Kabi people and  representatives from Queensland University of Technology to develop the frog pond project. 

Healthy Land and Water Coastal Catchments Northern Area Manager Susie Chapman said the project was crucial in ensuring acid frogs had the best possible chance to breed and prosper.

“This is all about providing the acid frogs some habitat connectivity and the right water and habitat conditions at the right time of year,” she said.

“It was a wonderful day. The kids were joyful in the mud, lots of plants have gone into the ground with follow up rain, and hopefully the frogs will move in and do a bit of breeding soon.”

Stockland Senior Environment and Community Development Manager Mark Stephens said the frog pond project was vital for the environment but equally important for the next generation of the community. 

"What's really cool about this project is being able to inspire the next generation of scientists and technology experts," he said.

"A lot of these projects and the chance to be out in the field has a significant impact on the students and I believe they will pave the way for many future careers."

Learn more about Stockland's wallum sedgefrog protection efforts here.