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Recent rains see rare desert frogs emerge from hiding

Date: 24-Mar-20
Author: Liam Taylor

The drought in Sturt National Park had lasted three years before recent rains brought desert frogs to the surface.

The drought in Sturt National Park had lasted three years before recent rains brought desert frogs to the surface.

The breaking of the drought in north-west New South Wales brought about a rare sight – hundreds of desert frogs resurfacing after months underground.

The frogs only surface a handful of times in their lifetime, and only when there is a great deal of rainfall. But in early March when over 50 millimetres of rain fell over parts of the Sturt National Park in far north-west NSW, that’s exactly what happened.

“These frogs would've been sitting down there since last May which is when we had our last reasonable rainfall,” desert ecologist Dr Bec West told ABC News.

"There are literally hundreds of thousands of these little frogs sitting down under the surface for most of the time … just sitting there waiting for their opportunity.”

Burrowing frogs such as the trilling frog and the water-holding frog can live up to 20 years, but may only surface on three or four occasions to feed and breed during that time. Otherwise they spend the majority of their lives hibernating underground in a cocoon made from layers of their own skin. 

When rainfall does arrive, the frogs have only a short window in which to ensure the future of their species. They must lay their eggs quickly enough to ensure tadpoles can grow into adults and have the chance to breed themselves, all before the water disappears.

 

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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

 




Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.



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