Introduction ...

Frogs inhabit wetland ecosystems. Over 80% of the Swan coastal plain wetlands in Western Australia have been lost during the last 100 years. As a consequence, many of the native flora and fauna inhabiting the wetland ecosystems are threatened or no longer exist. The deterioration of wetlands, diminished area, introduced predators and diseases are all factors contributing to the worldwide decline in frog numbers.

Newton Moore Senior High School Wetlands is a small remnant strip 250 metres by 50 metres. It represents what once existed before the swampland was reclaimed for the building of the schools and residential areas.

Our research looks at the changing frog population profile of the wetlands in relation to the improvement of the wetland ecosystem and habitat restoration. It is a continuation of our 1999 webpage, Looking Good - from a frog's point of view, with special emphasis on the impact of habitat restoration on frog populations in our wetlands.

Throughout 2001 and 2002 we have continued to hear the calls of Crinia georgiana (quacking frog), Heleioporus eyrei (Moaning Frog), Limnodynastes dorsalis (Banjo Frog), Geocrinia leai (Lea’s Frog), Crinia glauerti (Glauert’s Froglet), Litoria moorei (Motorbike frog) and Crinia insignifera (squelching Crinia).

As students in Wetland Studies in 1999 we were made  aware of the frog fungal disease Cutaneous chytridiomycosis and the frog trapping program conducted at the nearby Capel Wetlands Centre in Capel. This  led us to conclude , that monitoring frog populations in our wetlands would be a worthwhile scientific investigation.

We  found it useful to monitor the water quality and our rehabilitation of the wetlands. Frogs are sensitive to the changes in the environment as they breathe through their skin and the tadpole stage of their life cycle is spent dependent on the water quality as they live in water.

The purpose of this investigation is to: 

  1. Develop an ongoing study of the frog population profile at Newton Moore Senior High School Wetlands

  2. Examine the frog habitat improvement in the Newton More Senior High School Wetlands.

  3. Draw a correlation between frog population and habitat improvement

  4. Highlight the significance of the Chytrid fungal disease.

Our involvement and concern for our wetlands began 3 years ago in Wetland Studies. We have a strong interest in frogs so decided to make this our major research for our Senior Biology Research investigation.

by Stuart Fearon, Cherie Smith & Neil Robinson.