Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland Project: Threatened Species Day
The Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland is home to a diverse array of plants and animals, including some threatened species. To celebrate Threatened Species Day, we are taking a look at the Wallum Sedge Frog (Litoria olongburensis), which lives in some of the freshwater wetlands of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland.
The Wallum Sedge frog is a small tree frog, about 25mm long. It blends in well amongst the reeds with colouring that varies between light brown to green with brown flecks on the throat. Their call is high pitched with a “creeeek… crik” pattern.
They can be found in areas in South East Queensland, down to North East New South Wales, including offshore islands such as K’gari (Fraser Island), Bribie Island, Mulgumpin (Moreton Island), Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and other Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) Islands. It lives in Wallum habitat which includes heath, paperbark swamps, sedgelands and banksia woodlands, which are acidic environments often low in nutrients. ‘Wallum’ is the aboriginal name for the banksia Banksia aemula, the dominant plant species in swampy wallum heath environments.
The Wallum Sedge Frog is unfortunately listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, due to habitat loss, weed invasion and disease.
Being an acid frog, one of the most important ways to protect the species is to maintain the low pH of their habitat by avoiding run-off from entering wetlands.
Healthy Land and Water’s Moreton Bay Ramsar Project, funded by the National Landcare Program, is helping to repair some of the Wallum Sedge Frog’s habitat within the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland. This includes removing weeds from the Coochiemudlo Island Melaleuca Wetland and other wetland restoration projects throughout Moreton Bay.
If you are interested in helping to protect the Wallum Sedge Frog or other threatened species, contact your local Landcare or Coastcare group to get involved in caring for local bushland and wetlands. They often hold weeding working bees, planting days, and rubbish clean-ups.
National Threatened Species Day
National Threatened Species Day is commemorated on September 7 each year. It is momentous date because on 7 September 1936, Australia’s Tasmanian Tiger, also known as the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), slipped over the extinction line.
National Threatened Species Day is a day when we shine a spotlight on all the Australian native animal and plant species that are facing similar fates to that of the Tasmanian tiger.
Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate of any country in the world. Since European settlement, we’ve lost over 10% of our land mammal species.
Over 518 native species are currently listed as threatened under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, and after the catastrophic bushfires in 2019 with nearly three billion animals impacted, many of these species are being pushed further towards extinction.
Each of us has a part to play in conserving Australia’s precious wildlife and their habitat for generations to come.
This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.