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Boorolong Frogs and the Cost Benefit Analysis

Booroolong frog 011 - Website [booroolong frog 011 website.jpg]

If you have been to the headwater streams of the Namoi Catchment such as the Peel or Cockburn Rivers, you may not have realised that the endangered Booroolong Frog (Litoria booroolongensis) calls these streams home.

The mottled green-brown frog, only 5cm in size, has been found in a broad range of habitats in the eastern part of the Namoi Catchment ranging from small, slow flowing creeks to large rivers in both forested and open farmland between 400m and 700m above sea level. Within these river systems it requires rocky permanent streams with shallow riffles and island rock structures to live.

The Namoi Catchment is extremely lucky to have one of the largest remaining populations of the Booroolong Frog in New South Wales. However, the species is in decline and without intervention, it sadly may disappear from our region forever.

Factors contributing to its decline include:

  • habitat loss and degradation from river regulation resulting in the loss of shallow riffles;
  • removal of river rocks;
  • trampling and damage to river banks by domestic stock and vehicles;
  • declining water quality from the use of herbicides and pesticides near streams;
  • introduced predators such as trout, carp and foxes;disease – Chytrid fungus (an infectious fungal disease);
  • sediment build up in streams;
  • poor water quality from fossicking activities;
  • willow and other exotic tree/shrub growth resulting in poor water quality from shading of the river and out-competing native plants.

Namoi CMA Projects

This year (2012-2013), Namoi CMA developed the Priority Frog Program to support landholders and managers to undertake activities which would improve Booroolong Frog habitat. The program aimed to build on the successful Booroolong Frog Habitat Protection Program which was run in 2009-2010. The program was once again successful in partnering with key landowners and managers to protect frog habitat through a range of on-ground management activities such as:

removal of stock and installation of off-site watering systems;protecting rocks and riffles in streams;removal of woody weeds;protection of native vegetation; andferal predator control.

In addition, frog surveys undertaken in 2013 by Namoi CMA have found that the frog populations are stable with new populations discovered which is very exciting. Monitoring of the frog populations and its habitat will continue to occur as part of the program.

If you think you have the Booroolong Frog on your property you can also contribute to its protection by undertaking the same on-ground management activities identified above.

 Booroolong Frog Information Sheet 

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Cost Benefit Analysis

The Booroolong frog project in the Namoi Catchment represents an environmental investment to protect the species and around 10.7 kilometres of its habitat in the catchment.

The project’s benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 8.6 indicates that the benefits outweigh the costs by a significant margin. The measures introduced by landholders, at relatively low cost, should therefore result in a significant return on investment upon project completion in 10 years time.

Click here to view a copy of the report.

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Namoi Catchment Management Authority, 2013