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Green Tree Frogs of the Katherine Region

Frog Log 2005        (See Froglog 2004) (See frog croaking + photos) (cane toads)

The 2004/2005 wet season has been off to a slow start in Katherine NT with only 3 days of consecutive rain in mid December (and that didn't leave any significant puddles laying around). But still the fishpond & water bowls were teeming with tadpoles within 2 days. Assuming they are green treefrog tadpoles we have been looking after them. We have 12-15 resident green tree frogs around the house.

Late December & the tadpoles still look small (ie like they are from another species of frog)







May the best Croaker win!

It rained heavily today 30th December 2004 & the block now has water everywhere in the blacksoil ponds. The frogs are madly calling & we need to close the doors to watch TV. (Its only deafening after the first few rains).

At 10PM I took to the mud puddles to see what frogs were about & was totally amazed with the nightlife.

I didn't see one canetoad near the water or hear their calling (we had cleaned up several hundred over the last month, but we still see them passing through)
The ponds are teeming with frogs/toads ( called ??must get book out!). They have spawned by the hundreds.

Must of seen 7-8 different frog & toad species, many camera shy. Green tree frogs numbered over 30 with a few big fat ones amongst them. (One had 2 potential mates) (must be the females that get so big) Still had several frogs assuming the verandah position for food & not interested in the wild parties going on about them (obviously happily married).

Just squatting amongst the bush & water in the warm darkness being bombarded with the overwhelming pitch of frog calls, it was impossible to differentiate the many different calls out there. Sitting here now as I write I can pick out 4 different types of calls.


Mid January 2005

The ponds have been dry for a week and all tadpoles have perished (except for the ones that we collected and spread around our frog breeding ponds)
After last years 2004 debacle where we collected tadpoles (majority being canetoads), we obtained the fresh spawn in the morning from frogs we had seen during the night before.

Late January 2005

Some of the ponds have filled yet again & dried out with only two cane toads being recorded as calling out (within 50 metres of the house) (I know they are there just biding their time for later in the wet season when the frogs are exhausted)

Our tadpoles have back legs and have thinned out dramatically from the several hundred that hatched, some perished when heavy rain in the rainfall last week flowed over the edge of the plastic wading pool (and along with it escaping tadpoles).

We did see lots of little hoppers the other day & wondered if they were ours (however they resembled cane toads, but it is hard to tell when less than a little fingernail in size)

Feb 05

With the warmer & drier weather being here for the last few weeks we have seen more activity in Cane Toads (time to do a roundup soon before the next rain) (Had a few rains..... but I mean rainfall of an inch plus in an hour or two, and several of these over a few days) Something that will top up the dry wallows.

Collected over 40 canetoads the other night.

The Monsoon is returning.................No! Bloody Cyclones dragged all the good rainfalls along with it and not enough in it to leave lasting puddles about over several weeks.

April 05 and there was no real action over the last few months, apart from the Cane Toads who have multiplied again in their quicker tadpole cycle. (What would of happened if we didn't dispose of the 200+ toads over the last few weeks?)  We still have tadpoles in the kids wading pool & bathtub..... I think they might be there for good?

Wet Season of 05/06
What a ripper, we had our years rainfall in the months between November - Jan 06.
By March 06 we had had almost the driest wet season month with only 62ml & people were saying it is the driest wet season ever. (That's why records are kept, people forget the previous deluges)
Then in April 06, Katherine experienced another flood, from rainfall that fell further up the Katherine River.

Wet Season Oct 2005 Nov Dec Jan 2006 Feb Mar Apr 2006
Rainfall 05/06 ml 33 194 393 293 62 (9.8ml max) 455 151 (to 7Apr06)

Decline in treefrogs noticed around house in 2006.

With all the talk on climate change and disappearing frog populations, I have noticed we do not have the green treefrogs around the usual haunts of the verandah, so far in October 2006.

Is this where I scream climate change, or Golden Tree snake ! that was lurking with intent over several weeks  & entering the aircon ducting cavities that the frogs loved to hang out in. Faced with a dilemma of losing several tree frogs to another native animal all we did was watch and let it go about its business, and yes we did lose treefrogs.


Frogs from New Years Eve............. most people were out doing what you do on the years end.
These are not Green Tree Frogs.
 Hundreds of these frogs in a frenzy