Ecologists are searching the puddles and creeks of the Mogo State Forest for evidence of frogs before logging operations commence.
The Forestry Corporation of NSW field ecologist Kelly Rowley said she was looking for the stuttering frog, Mixophyes balbus, and Littlejohn's tree frog, Litoria littlejohni, during her night-time surveys.
“Although it will be surprising if we find either of these – the habitat isn’t quite right,” Ms Rowley said.
Although neither species is endangered, both fall under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act and the surveys are needed to satisfy legislative requirements which allow logging.
“Each year, I get a schedule of blocks – with harvest dates. For frogs I need to stay 12 months ahead: We survey them in the warmer months and if I miss the window the work gets pushed back a year,” she said.
“Each year we get new species listings; if we find them our licence requires we work with the Environmental Protection Agency to protect that habitat.”
Ms Rowley said many frog species in Australia – and across the world – were in decline.
“Chytrid – a fungal disease – had a big impact across the world; it’s why we disinfect our boots before and after each survey,” she said.
The frog surveys involved searching transects of forest and included a series of call-playbacks: “Each frog’s call is recorded on an iPad. We plug in a microphone, broadcast the call, and see if anyone calls back,” she said.