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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 5:45-53 (2008)  -  DOI:

Applied conservation management of a threatened forest dependent frog, Heleioporus australiacus

T. D. Penman1,2,*, F. L. Lemckert1,2, M. J. Mahony1

1School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, New South Wales 2308, Australia
2Research and Development Division, Forests New South Wales, P.O Box 100 Beecroft, New South Wales 2119, Australia

ABSTRACT: Threatened species management should be based on reliable scientific research. The giant burrowing frog Heleioporus australiacus is a threatened species in south-eastern Australia, and is often recorded on land managed for commercial forestry. As a result, management prescriptions have been developed in the absence of significant research data. Here, we review the available research data and assess the potential for forest management practices to impact upon this species. The species is restricted to naturally vegetated areas, but avoids steep areas, large rivers and forests with high levels of vegetative ground cover. Individuals spend the majority of the year in the non-breeding habitat considerable distances from bodies of water in small (~0.05 ha) activity areas. Fire is unlikely to have any significant direct effects upon populations of this species, although longer term vegetative changes associated with certain fire regimes may have an impact. Logging is more likely to have a significant short-term effect on individuals in the logging area, but it is not clear whether the species populations are affected in the medium to long term. Current conservation management prescriptions are ineffective for the species and only enforced if individuals are detected. Detection of this species is difficult and relies on strict climatic conditions. Therefore, new prescriptions, independent of detection, are required to provide a landscape approach to the management of this species. We propose that key populations be identified and protection zones established around these populations, which should be geographically separated to provide longer-term protection against stochastic events.

KEY WORDS: Amphibian · Management · Forestry · Disturbance impacts

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Cite this article as: Penman TD, Lemckert FL, Mahony MJ (2008) Applied conservation management of a threatened forest dependent frog, Heleioporus australiacus. Endang Species Res 5:45-53.

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