Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


More young Maud Island frogs pop up in Zealandia

More young Maud Island frogs pop up in Zealandia

A Victoria University postgraduate student studying Maud Island frogs in the Zealandia eco-sanctuary has made an interesting discovery.

In 2006, Zealandia staff translocated 60 frogs to the sanctuary, placing 31 into purpose-built enclosures and releasing 29 into the open. None of the 29 had been sighted for some years, and conservation staff thought it possible resident kiwi and mice may have got the better of them.

However Tanya Karst, a postgraduate student from Victoria’s Centre for Biodiversity and Restoration Ecology who recently started her field study on the threatened nocturnal Maud Island frog (Leiopelma pakeka), was excited to find this wasn’t the case.

“We were really pleased to find a subadult frog under rocks outside the main pen. It was almost three years old, so had survived for some time, despite the presence of potential predators,” she said.
Zealandia’s Conservation Manager Raewyn Empson was happy to hear of the find.

“Finding the frog outside the enclosure was great. It confirmed that at least a pair of frogs survived and bred there after release, and at least one juvenile has survived to three years of age - there were concerns that all had disappeared despite the fact that they are cryptic. There could be more.”

Karst’s study is on mortality mitigation of this rare New Zealand frog in Zealandia and aims to assess the likely threats on Maud Island frogs within the sanctuary, particularly the impact of little spotted kiwi and house mice.

“A fence around the frog habitat (15m x 12.5m) excludes kiwi from the site, and more rocks and logs have been added to improve the habitat. Movements and numbers of mice will be carefully monitored within the area the frogs occupy,” she said.

On Sunday, the Zealandia frog population was supplemented with 100 additional frogs from Maud Island to enhance their survival prospects.

Dr Ben Bell of Victoria University supervises Karst’s project.

“The frogs are known to have bred in Zealandia for six successive years, so clearly the conditions there are suitable for breeding them.

“Tanya Karst’s study will further document the growth and survival of these frogs, providing important information on the rearing success of young, as well as on the survival of adults,” he said.

[ENDS]

EXTRA INFORMATION:

What’s special about New Zealand’s frogs?
Nicola Toki explains it nicely:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/blogs/in-our-nature/7787401/Our-fascinating-frogs
Our frogs don't croak, don't have an eardrum, have large round pupils in their eyes, and don't have an aquatic tadpole stage to their life cycle!”

How can you tell how old a Maud Island frog is?
Nutritional intake has an effect on growth but in general, if the diet is healthy, during the growth phase you can determine age from snout-vent length. After it's reached adult size, unless you've tracked its growth, you cannot tell its age.

Mice at Zealandia
Mice have been present at Zealandia in low numbers since shortly after the 2000 eradication. Numbers are kept down with yearly control work. For more information on pest eradication see: http://www.visitzealandia.com/what-is-zealandia/conservation-restoration/pest-eradication/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Finance: Major Campaign To End "Gross Overtaxation Of Savings"

The campaign – which includes a special web site through which New Zealanders can e-mail their own and other MPs and party leaders – is backed by Age Concern, Consumer NZ, the Financial Services Council and the Taxpayers’ Union. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news