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Friday, November 20, 2015

Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog Morans Creek

20th November 2015

Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)

I cannot quite contain my excitement about getting to hear, find, observe and photograph an Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) in the wild, while out looking for frogs along the banks of Morans Creek in the Lamington National Park, South-East Queensland.

Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)
This beautiful large frog was calling from rocks on the sides of the creek.  The noises were loud but intermittent, and at first I thought whatever large frog was making the sounds, was hiding under the large overhanging rocks.  While I was looking at a large number of metamorphosing tadpoles in a shallow rock pool, I again heard the frog call, and looked up with the torch to come eye to eye with this beautiful creature.  On first look, "I thought to myself that it looked like a Fleay's, but I wasn't getting too excited until I could confirm with the books and online.

Endangered Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi)
The Fleay's Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) was named after my Grandfather's first Cousin, the famous Australian Naturalist, David Fleay, in recognition of his immense contribution to the knowledge of the breeding biology of Australian animals.  This species is currently listed as Endangered in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and nationally (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999).  More about Fleay's Barred Frog Here

Not the best photo, but it shows how large the Fleay's Barred Frog is, compared to my hand. 

The photo below, shows the tadpoles that I was viewing, prior to spotting the Fleay's Barred Frog, less than a metre away on a rock above the tadpole rock pool. Some of these tadpoles have started to metamorph and have the back legs.  You can see that they already have "barred" markings on their back legs.  I wonder if these are possibly tadpoles of the Fleay's Barred Frog?  I am no expert at tadpole identification, so would appreciate any feedback on those who know more. The description of where the frogs are laid etc, is indicative of what i observed, located in a fast-flowing stream.

Tadpoles in rockpool in Moran's Creek - Could they be Fleays Barred Frogs?

This sighting was extremely amazing - I hope the tadpoles survive, whatever they turn out to be, and that this beautiful frog species can be around for a long time to come.

Judi

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