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

 

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Science Media Centre: Viral Science And Another 'Big Dry'?

"Potentially, if there is no significant rainfall for the next month or so, we could be heading into one of the worst nation-wide droughts we’ve seen for some time," warns NIWA principal climate scientist Dr Andrew Tait. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

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