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Public Asked to Keep Eyes Open for Banjo Frog

Members of the public are being asked to keep an eye – and an ear - out for the eastern banjo frog or pobblebonk (Lymnodynastes dumerilii) which was found in a stream in the Waitakere Ranges in Auckland recently.

Following the initial discovery, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry conducted a survey of five catchment areas in the ranges, which found no frogs, froglets or tadpoles.

The incursion was discussed at the Biosecurity Technical Forum meeting on yesterday, where it was agreed to seek public help to report hearing or sightings of unusual frogs. Pictures and the distinctive banjo-like sound this frog makes are available on:

www.parks.tas.gov.au/wildlife/frogs/tbanjof.html.

Anyone wanting to report hearings or sightings of suspected Lymnodynastes frogs in the Auckland region should call the Auckland Regional Council Arataki Call Centre (817-4993) or ARC Enviroline (0800 80 60 40).

Outside the Auckland region they should call the MAF Exotic Disease and Pest Hotline (0800 80 99 66)

The meeting also agreed to undertake intensive surveillance of the site in the Waitakeres where tadpoles and froglets of the Eastern Banjo frog were recovered. This survey will be undertaken by Auckland Regional Council, Department of Conservation and MAF staff. Any suspect tadpoles, froglets or frogs found will be removed for examination and confirmed identification.

Further actions to deal with the incursion will depend on the outcome of the surveillance.

ends

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