Project Profile: Amphibian Mortality Event
Since June 2021, the Registry has been receiving reports of mass mortalities in various frog species spanning across all of Australia, but most prominently QLD, NSW, and VIC. We’ve been working with the amazing team at the Australian Museum to get a handle on how big this event is and as of November 2021 we have received in excess of 1,500 reports of sick and dead frogs with some reports representing up to 30 individual animals. That’s a lot of frogs!
Studying disease in an event like this, especially in times of statewide Covid-19 lock-downs, has been challenging. With help from the wildlife health community we are conducting a thorough investigation. The Registry has a strong track-record in amphibian disease investigation research and are working with our networks to exclude reportable diseases, and find other potential primary or opportunistic pathogens that may be responsible for this distressing event.
Here is what you can do:
– Affected frogs appear to be either darker or lighter than normal, slow, out in the daytime, and are thin. Some frogs have red undersides and excessive skin sloughing. Many frogs are simply being found dead.
– Report your findings, with a photo if possible, to the national citizen science project FrogID (https://australian.museum/…/appeal-save-australias-frogs/) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is being monitored and any reports of sick frogs are being directed to licensed wildlife rehabilitation organisation or veterinarians, in line with state government environment and biosecurity agency advice.
– Please leave healthy frogs where they are, but if you have a sick frog please consider bringing it to the Taronga Wildlife Hospital for assessment and treatment. If you are outside of the Sydney area, please contact your local wildlife vet, your local wildlife care group, or your state Wildlife Health Australia representative.
– Ask your wildlife veterinarian to contact us for treatment protocols.
See these links for more information:
– The Conversation: Dead, shrivelled frogs are unexpectedly turning up across eastern Australia. We need your help to find out why