Toadlet in Trouble

Lydia Fucsko

Lydia Fucsko

THE RED-CROWNED TOADLET is facing ever increasing threats, but thanks to some dedicated volunteers, help is on the way.

Restricted exclusively to sandstone areas around Sydney, the toadlets’ home has been impacted by habitat loss due to sandstone harvesting for garden landscaping as well as pollution, disease and changed fire regimes.

The 3cm-long red-crowned toadlet is listed as vulnerable by the New South Wales State Government and already some local populations of the frog have become extinct.

Professor Michael Mahoney from the school of environmental and life sciences at Newcastle University believes that human interaction is the biggest threat to the species. “Mostly human impacts affect their habitat,” he says. “Unfortunately, habitat of the red-crowned toadlet overlaps with urban development on the sandstone ridges of the Sydney basin.”

Habitat protection for rare toadlet

Conservation Volunteers Australia, working with New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, have recognised the threat to the frog and created their ‘Wild Futures’ conservation program to try and protect its habitat.

Conservation Volunteers National Coordinator Prue Simmons says that the frog plays an essential part in the local ecosystem. The program works to protect Sydney populations and aims to maintain a healthy habitat for the frog to breed.

“Volunteer teams will assist by planting native vegetation to provide protection and to improve water run-off systems, remove weeds that impact vital habitat and help with surveys to monitor populations,” says Prue.

“It is hoped that by carrying out this conservation work with volunteers throughout crucial red-crowned toadlet habitat, that we can help this little amphibian overcome many of the threats that are pushing it towards extinction.”

For information on how to volunteer to help the red crowned toadlet visit the Conservation Volunteers website.

*This article was originally published on the Australian Geographic online site and can be viewed here*

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