Publication Details

Penman, T. D., Lemckert, F. & Mahony, M. (2008). Applied conservation management of a threatened forest dependant frog, Heleioporus australiacus. Endangered Species Research, 5 45-53.


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 nonbreeding 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



Link to publisher version (DOI)