Cryptic forest frog rediscovered at Eden after two decades

HOPPED UP: A population of the rare Littlejohn's Tree Frog (Litoria littlejohni) has been rediscovered near Eden two decades since it was last spotted.
HOPPED UP: A population of the rare Littlejohn's Tree Frog (Litoria littlejohni) has been rediscovered near Eden two decades since it was last spotted.

Ecologists from Eden are excited after recently rediscovering a highly isolated population of the vulnerable Littlejohn's Tree Frog (Litoria littlejohni) nearly two decades after its last local sighting.

The species was detected during a nocturnal Forestry Corporation survey, with approximately 20 individuals at a small pool of water.

Forestry's senior field ecologist, Dr Rohan Bilney, said the rediscovery in Nadgee State Forest was a positive sign for the cryptic species, with only three previous detections of the species in Far South NSW.

"Littlejohn's tree frog is a difficult to detect species, with the closest known population 100km away, across the Victorian border, and the closest known NSW population 250km away," Dr Bilney said.

"There was speculation the species may have become locally extinct, following multiple unsuccessful surveys in recent years and because many frog species have declined in recent decades due to a disease called Chytrid fungus, which is causing declines globally.

"This rediscovery gives hope that other populations of rare frogs continue persisting in areas where they have declined and considered potentially locally extinct."

The survey results mean Forestry Corporation has recorded the species' location and can take steps to best protect it when planning operations in the area.

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