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Free workshop being held to help save Aussie frogs

The Great Barred Frog has been found at Springfield.
The Great Barred Frog has been found at Springfield.

EVER wondered what frogs were living in your backyard?

Australia's frogs are calling for help and you can play a key role in saving them by taking part in Australia's biggest frog count - FrogID Week.

Held from November 9-18 FrogID week is being held by the Australian Museum to benchmark frog populations across Australia using the Frog ID App.

Springfield Lakes Nature Care Inc is hosting a free workshop called What Creaks & Croaks in your Backyard an interactive presentation by Judith Vink to help you identify local frogs and teach you how to use the Frog ID App.

Springfield Lakes Nature Care President Luise Manning said Judith Vink's presentation was created using the Frog ID app.

The slideshow will share some of the frogs that were recorded on the app within 10km from Springfield.

Mrs Manning said the Australian Museum was particularly looking for help finding missing, threatened and other priority frogs during FrogID Week and the rare Great Barred Frog and the Tusked Frog have been sighted around Springfield.

Dr Jodi Rowley, Australian Museum Curator of Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology, said public help during FrogID Week was vital to collect all the information scientists need to track the health of Australian frog populations.

Dr Rowley said the information gathered in the past 12 months has created an audio map of Australian frogs, but there was still so much more to be done.

"FrogID Week is the next really important part of our program - the high number of recordings we hope to gather at the same time each year during FrogID Week will allow us to compare year-on-year how our frogs are coping so we can make informed conservation decisions,” Dr Rowley said.

"Frogs are good indicators of the health of the environment, as they are highly sensitive to changes on land and in the water, so understanding how healthy our frogs are also helps us track threats to biodiversity and the broader impact of change on the land, other native animals and even for our own communities.”

In the past year, FrogID participants have helped record more than 30,000 frog calls and identified 166 frog species, including frogs which the Australian Museum did not previously have audio recordings of.

Why Frogs Count

Australia has over 240 known species of frog, almost all of which are found nowhere else in the world. Some species are flourishing, like the Striped Marsh Frog. But others have declined dramatically since the 1980s, and four have become extinct.

FrogID is a national citizen science project that is helping learn more about what is happening to Australia's frogs. All around the country, people are recording frog calls with nothing more than a smartphone.

This information could be crucial in saving Australia's frogs.

Sir David Attenborough has described amphibians as "the lifeblood of many environments”.

As one of the first animal species to feel the impact of environmental changes, declining frog populations are a "warning call” about the impacts of climate change and pollution on Australia's waterways, wildlife and ecosystems.

The workshop

During the free workshop on November 16 from 6pm-8pm you will learn about local frogs, where to find them and what sounds they make.

There will be light refreshments and finger food.

Participants will drive to Opossum Creek Parklands on Scoparia Drive and take a one hour stroll along a section of the Louise Clews Walkway along Opossum Creek to practice using the app and listen for frogs.

Bring your smart phone so you can trial the free FrogID App, and SLNC can teach you the best way to record and submit your frog calls.

Please wear closed in shoes, long sleeved clothes and pants to help guard against mosquitos and bring a torch.

Unfortunately this workshop is not suitable for children.

The app is free and you can download it before you attend the workshop by going to www.frogid.net.au

Places are limited to 30, so please book early to avoid disappointment, www.eventbrite.com.au/e/frog-id-workshop-walk-tickets-51240855779

Meet at Brookwater Sales Office, 3 Birchwood Crescent, Brookwater 4300 on Friday November 16.

Topics:  australian museum engangered animal frogid week native frogs rare animals springfield lakes nature care group