Biodiversity Assessment Technical Report



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Powerful Owl

Ninox strenua

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Large

  • Range size within region (ha): 520 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): 40

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: 40-120 pairs

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): 300 - >1000, dependent on habitat and availability of prey

  • Source: McNabb (1996), Seebeck (1976)

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Wide

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Damp Forest, Riparian Forest, Heathy Dry Forest, Floodplain Riparian Woodland, recent survey will add to this information

  • Source: Lumsden et al. (1991)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Stable

  • Source: R. Loyn per. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Lumsden et al. (1991)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: High

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): 2, in captivity, in the wild age at first breeding may be later due to the hunting skills required by the male to provide for the female and offspring.

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 1.4

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: June, July

  • Source: Fleay (1968), Schodde and Mason (1980), Debus and Chafer (1994), McNabb (1996)

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): > 20

  • Source: Brouwer and Garnett (1990)

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 1050-1600 females, 1130-1700 males

  • Length (mm): 450-540 females, 480-650 males

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: Territorial

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Carnivore (predominantly arboreal mammals)

  • Source: Tilley (1982), Lavazanian et al. (1994)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (1) Debus and Chafer (1994), R. Loyn pers. comm.

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (2) Debus and Chafer (1994), R. Loyn pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (3) Garnett (1992), Davey (1993), Collar et al. (1994), Debus and Chafer (1994), Kavanagh and Bamkin (1995), R. Loyn pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.



6. Grazing: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

8.Illegal Harvesting: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (3) Collar et al. (1994), R. Loyn pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (1)R. Loyn pers. comm.

11. Roading: Ranking (-) R. Loyn pers comm.

12 Recreation: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.



13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (1) Quinn (1993), R. Loyn pers. comm.

14. Other : Ranking (0)


Current Management:.

The Powerful Owl is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. There are no current management prescriptions for this species in the Central Highlands. The LCC (1993) recommends protection of the species within the Central Forest Management Area


Comments: The Powerful Owl is Australia’s largest owl species. It is an opportunistic predators, arboreal mammals composing the bulk of the diet (Tilley 1982, Lavazanian et al. 1994). During the day the Powerful Owl roosts in the tree canopy. It requires large tree hollows for breeding. Breeding pairs of Powerful Owls occupy large permanent territories (300-1000ha) that contain a number of roost sites and nest trees (McNabb 1996).
Recent playback surveys by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment within the Central Highlands (between Gembrook and Eildon) located the Powerful Owl at 25 sites. The total number of sites surveyed was 273 (R. Loyn pers. comm.).
Threats to this species include any disturbance that reduces the availability of nest sites or the number of prey. Logging is considered a major threat in the Central Highlands. Widespread wildfire can result in loss of habitat and reduce prey availability (Debus and Chafer 1994) and is considered a moderate threat (R. Loyn pers. comm.). Human disturbance of nest sites during the breeding season and competition for nest hollows by Starlings and Mynas in areas close to human habitation, are minor threats to the species (R. Loyn pers. comm.).

Masked Owl

Tyto novaehollandiae

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): 90 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): 8

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: 15-20 pairs

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): 1017-1178, from radiotracking one female

  • Source: Kavanagh and Murray (1996), R. Loyn pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Unknown

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Generally found in lowland forests, most records from ecotones

  • Source: Peake et al. (1993)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Unknown

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: High

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Unknown

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 1-3 typically survive to fledge (2-4 eggs laid)

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: < 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: April - November

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980), Hollands (1991), Debus (1993), Olsen and Marples (1993), Peake et al. (1993), Kavanagh (1996).

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: R. Loyn per. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 545-800 females, 420-670 males

  • Length (mm): 380-460 females, 330-410 males

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: Territorial

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Carnivore (terrestrial prey dominant)

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980), Kavanagh and Murray (1996)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (1) Garnett 1992, R. Loyn pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (2) Debus and Rose 1992, Garnett 1992, R. Loyn pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (3) R. Loyn pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (2) Peake et al. (1993), Czechura pers. comm. in Garnett (1992), R. Loyn pers. comm.

6. Grazing: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-) R. Loyn pers. comm.

8. Illegal Harvesting: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.



9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (3) Debus (1993), Garnett (1992), R. Loyn pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

11. Roading: Ranking (-) R. Loyn pers. comm.

12 Recreation: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

14. Other : Ranking (0)


Current Management:.

The Masked Owl is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. There are currently no management prescriptions for the species in the Central Highlands.


Comments: The Masked Owl is a rarely recorded species which requires trees with large hollows for daytime roosting and breeding. Caves may also be used if present. Terrestrial mammals form the greater part of the Masked Owls diet but arboreal mammals are also eaten. Breeding pairs occupy large permanent territories (>1000ha) (Kavanagh and Murray 1996).
Recent surveys by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment within the Central Highlands (between Eildon and Gembrook) recorded Masked Owl at only 2 of 273 sites. These sites were within Bunyip State Park and Lake Eildon National Park (R. Loyn pers. comm.). Although Masked Owls are cryptic and do not readily respond to playback (Debus 1995), the survey indicates the species is rare in the Central Highlands.
Introduced species, particularly foxes, may be competing for prey with the Masked Owl and may be a major threat to the species (R. Loyn pers. comm.). Logging and mining are considered moderate threats to the species in the Central Highlands as they result in loss of habitat including important roost and nest trees. Pest control is considered a moderate threat as it results in a reduction in the availability of prey, particularly rabbits, and the risk of secondary poisoning following rabbit control programs and rat baiting (Peak et al. 1993, R. Loyn pers. comm.). The possible effects of loss of prey due to rabbit calicivirus are unknown.

Sooty Owl

Tyto tenebricosa

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Large

  • Range size within region: (ha): 520 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): 40

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: 70-200

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): 200-800

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980), R. Loyn pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Montane Wet Forest, Montane Damp Forest, Wet Forest, Riparian Forest

  • Source: Lumsden et al. (1991)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Possibly declined (based on known habitat)

  • Source: Lumsden et al. (1991), Debus (1993)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: High

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Probably 2

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 2

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: all year round

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980), R. Loyn and E. McNabb pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: R. Loyn pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 750-1000 females, 500-700 males

  • Length (mm): 440-510 females, 370-430 males

  • Source: Shodde and Mason (1980)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: Territorial

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980)

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Carnivore (terrestrial and arboreal mammals)

  • Source: Schodde and Mason (1980), Lundie-Jenkins (1992)



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.



2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (2) R. Loyn pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (3) Milledge et al. (1991), Garnett (1992), Davey (1993), Debus (1994), R. Loyn pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.



5. Pest Control: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

6. Grazing: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-) R. Loyn pers. comm.

8. Illegal Harvesting: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.



9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

11. Roading: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

12 Recreation: Ranking (0) R. Loyn pers. comm.



13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (1) R. Loyn pers. comm.

14. Other : Enhanced Greenhouse Effect Ranking (2) Bennett et al. 1991, R. Loyn pers. comm.

Current Management:.

The Sooty Owl is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. There are no current management actions for the species in the Central highlands.


Comments: The Sooty Owl is a specialist inhabitant of nutrient rich, wet forests (Lumsden et al. 1991, Milledge et al. 1991). Large trees with hollows are required for roosting and breeding; caves may also be used if available. Sooty Owls feed on both arboreal and terrestrial mammals (Schodde and Mason 1980).
The Central Highlands and East Gippsland appear to be the Victorian stronghold of the Sooty Owl. Within the Central Highlands much of the species’ preferred habitat appears to be Mountain Ash forest. In these forests large areas of old growth provide optimal habitat with numerous suitable tree hollows and abundant prey (Milledge et al. 1991). During recent surveys by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (within the Central Highlands (between Eildon and Gembrook) the Sooty Owl was recorded at 37 of 273 surveyed sites. These birds were located mainly in Wet Forest, but records were not confined to gullies (R. Loyn pers. comm.).
The Wet Forests of the Central Highlands are a valued timber resource and loss of habitat as a consequence of logging is a major threat to the Sooty Owl. Logging results in a reduction in the availability of tree hollows and consequently the abundance of prey (Milledge et al. 1991, Garnett 1992, Davey 1993, Debus 1994, R. Loyn pers. comm.). Extensive wildfire also reduces hollow availability and prey abundance and is a moderate threat to the species (R. Loyn pers. comm.). Habitat alteration as a consequence of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect is a moderate threat to the species (Bennet et al. 1991, R. Loyn pers. comm.).

3. REPTILES

Glossy Grass Skink

Pseudemoia rawlinsoni

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): Unknown

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Possibly < 1

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Wetland Complex, Wet Heathland, Swamp Heathland

  • Source: CNR and AHC (1994), P. Robertson pers. comm.

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown, possibly stable

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined
    Declined due to reduction in habitat as a result of clearing for agricultural development

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Low

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): 1-3 years

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 4-8 young

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: December-February

  • Source: Hutchinson and Donnellan (1988), P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Unknown

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): Unknown

  • Length (mm): 40-61 females, 37-63 males

  • Source: Hutchinson and Donnellan (1988)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: None observed, unlikely

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Insectivore

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (0)



6. Grazing: Ranking (2) P. Robertson pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (2) P. Robertson pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-)



11. Roading: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

12 Recreation: Ranking (0)

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (0)

14. Other: Impoundments: Ranking (1) (P. Robertson pers. comm.
Current Management:

The Glossy Grass Skink is classified as “insufficiently known” in Victoria (CNR 1995a). There are no current management prescriptions for the species in the Central Highlands.


Comments: The Glossy Grass Skink is known from areas with humid microenvironments (Hutchinson and Donnellan 1988) and occurs in swampland and heathland vegetation in the Central Highlands. Areas where the species has been recorded include Yan Yean, Whittlesea, Gembrook and Burleigh (Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, P. Robertson pers. comm.).
The habitat of the Glossy Grass Skink is characterised by dense vegetation within which animals bask and forage (Hutchinson and Donnellan 1988). Habitat alteration resulting from inappropriate fire regimes and wildfire are potential threats (P. Robertson pers. comm.) although only minor within the Central Highlands. Other threats include habitat loss through grazing, clearing and drainage of suitable habitat and changes to hydrological regimes within drainage lines and swamps as a result of logging and associated roading activities (P. Robertson pers. comm.).

Swamp Skink

Egernia coventryi

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): < 10 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): < 1

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: 50 animals per ha

  • Home Range (ha): possibly 10m, estimate for mark-recapture 5m2

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Riparian Thicket, Wet Heathland, Swamp Heathland, Wetland Complex

  • Source: CNR and AHC (1994), P. Robertson pers. comm.

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Probably stable

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined
    Declined due to habitat clearance

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Low

  • Average distances dispersed: <5m

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): 2-3 years

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 2-6 young, usually 3

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: January-February

  • Source: Roberston (1980), P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Probably long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Approximately 10 years

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 25-28g

  • Length (mm): 100mm (snout-vent)

  • Source: Cogger (1995), P. Robertson pers. comm.

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: Yes, aggressive to conspecifics, especially males

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Primarily insectivore, up to 20-50% plant material

  • Source: Douch (1994)


THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm., Gillespie et al. (1992)

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm., Gillespie et al. (1992)

3. Logging: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (0)



6. Grazing: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (1) including drainage of swamps P. Robertson pers. comm., Lumsden et al. (1991)

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-)



11. Roading: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm., Gillespie et al. (1992)

12 Recreation: Ranking (0)

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (0)

14. Other: Ranking (-)


Current Management:

The Swamp Skink is classified as “rare” in Victoria (CNR 1995a). There are no current management prescriptions for the species in the Central Highlands.


Comments: The Swamp Skink occurs in swampland and heathland vegetation in the Central Highlands. Areas where the species has been recorded include Yellingbo, Olinda State Park and near Mt Tanjil (Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, P. Robertson pers. comm.). The species shelters in burrows (Robertson 1980), and exposed logs may be used as basking sites and for shelter (Smales 1981). Gillespie et al. (1992) note that in East Gippsland the species appears to be dependent on late successional stages of riparian scrub and coastal heathland. They suggest inappropriate fire regimes and wildfires represent a threat, as does road construction which could affect hydrological regimes. Alienation or drainage of swamps could also threaten the species (Lumsden et al. 1991). In the Central Highlands the identified threats are relatively minor.

Alpine Bog Skink

Pseudemoia cryodroma

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): <10 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): < 1

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Wet Subalpine Heathland

  • Source: CNR and AHC(1994)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Possibly declined
    Appears to have declined at one site due to resort development

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Low

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Low

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): 2-3 years

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 3

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: February

  • Source: Hutchinson and Donnellan (1992), P. Robertson pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Unknown

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): Unknown

  • Length (mm): 44-60mm females, 40-55mm males

  • Source: Hutchinson and Donnellan (1992), P. Robertson pers. comm.

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: None observed

  • Source: P. Robertson, pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Insectivore

  • Source: P. Robertson pers. comm.



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (2) P. Robertson, pers. comm.

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (3) P. Robertson pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (0)



4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1 ) P. Robertson pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (0)



6. Grazing/Trampling: Ranking (3) P. Robertson pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (-)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (2) P. Robertson pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (0)



11. Roading: Ranking (3) P. Robertson pers. comm.

12 Recreation: Ranking (3) (P. Robertson, pers. comm.)

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (0)



14. Other: Enhanced Greenhouse Effect: Ranking (3) P. Robertson, pers. comm Sphagnum harvesting: Ranking (1) P. Robertson pers. comm.
Current Management:

The Alpine Bog Skink has received a final recommendation for listing under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Management prescriptions relating to the Baw Baw Frog may benefit this species where they occur together.


Comments: The Alpine Bog Skink is restricted to mountain plateaux in north eastern Victoria, being found in subalpine to alpine heathlands. Within the Central Highlands one area where the species is recorded is within a conservation reserve; other areas occur within state forest (P. Robertson pers. comm.).
The vegetation characteristic of the habitat of the Alpine Bog Skink, is particularly sensitive to damage; processes such as grazing, fire and earthworks can contribute to erosion, and revegetation is difficult to achieve because of the short growing season (LCC 1982). Major threats include habitat modification and degradation as a result of resort development, the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect, damage to the species’ sensitive habitat as a result of recreational uses including cross-country skiing, hiking, four-wheel driving and horse riding, and grazing and trampling by cattle. The species is also susceptible to habitat alteration as a result of inappropriate fire regimes and wildfire (P. Robertson pers. comm.).


4. AMPHIBIANS

Baw Baw Frog

Philoria frosti

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Narrow

  • Range size within region: (km2): 100

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): < 1

  • Source: Malone (1985), Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: 200-300 males

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: Hollis (1995)

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow, given it only occurs on Mt Baw Baw

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Subalpine Woodland, Wet Subalpine Heathland, Montane Riparian Thicket, Montane Wet Forest

  • Source: Malone (1985), Hollis (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined, 1985 estimate 10 000-15000 males, recent estimate 200-300 males

  • Source: Malone (1985), Hollis (1995)

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Hollis (1995)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Unknown, possibly high. Considerable variation in breeding success has been noted in successive years.

  • Source: James and Morey (1993)

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Unknown

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Probably several years

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 90

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: Unknown, possibly < 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: Aquatic phase November -February

  • Source: Malone (1985), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long-lived

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): > 7

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): No information

  • Length (cm): 48-51 (49) females, 42-46 (44) males

  • Source: Littlejohn (1963)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Unknown

  • Territoriality: Males known to be territorial during the breeding season

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Nomadic

  • Mode of feeding: Opportunistic predator

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.


THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (0)



2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (3) James and Morey (1993), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

3. Logging: Ranking (3) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) Hollis (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (0)



6. Grazing: Ranking (2) Malone (1985), Hollis (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (1)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)



9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (2) Malone (1985), LCC (1991), Gillespie et al. (1995), Hollis (1995), G. Gillespie per. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (0)



11. Roading: Ranking (1) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

12. Recreation: Ranking (2) James and Morey (1993), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (0)



14 Other: Enhanced Greenhouse Effect Ranking (3) Bennett et al. (1991), James and Morey (1993), G. Gillespie pers. comm
Current Management:

The Baw Baw Frog is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and an Action Statement has been prepared (James and Morey 1993). The species is also listed under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. A Recovery Plan is currently being prepared for this species. Intended management actions outlined in the Action Statement include: development and implementation of an annual survey to monitor population fluctuations, the initiation of long-term research to identify crucial breeding areas, determination of critical habitat, removal of feral cattle from the Baw Baw plateau, monitor and control of environmental weeds, and monitor and manage the effects of recreation on the species and its habitat. Other actions include input from NRE into any proposed development or improvement within the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort that may affect habitat and the control of recreation which is likely to cause habitat degradation. The Baw Baw National Park Management Plan recommended high priority be given to the protection of Wet Alpine Heathland and the conduction of surveys to confirm the distribution of the frog and investigate its distribution over the range of habitat on the plateau.


Comments: The Baw Baw Frog is endemic to the Central Highlands. Its distribution is highly restricted; until recently the population was believed to be confined to the Baw Baw Plateau, within an area of 80 km2 (Malone 1985). The majority of this area is contained within the Baw Baw National Park although approximately 3km2 near Mount Baw Baw is part of the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort. Recent surveys have located the Baw Baw Frog in adjoining Montane Wet Forest (Eucalyptus delegatensis and E. nitens) (G. Gillespie pers. comm.).
Due to the cryptic nature of the Baw Baw Frog very little is known of the species outside the breeding season. The population has declined markedly over the last decade although reasons for this decline remain unclear (James and Morey 1993, Gillespie et al. 1995).
Major threats to the Baw Baw Frog include habitat loss from logging of Montane Wet Forest (G. Gillespie pers. comm.), loss of habitat and individuals due to wildfire, and impacts associated with the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect which may be causing the decline of frog populations found at high altitudes Australia wide (James and Morey 1993, Gillespie et al. 1995). Moderate threats include damage to the subalpine heath and sphagnum bog communities due to recreation activities and grazing, and clearance of native vegetation in and around the Mount Baw Baw Alpine Resort and associated snow-sports infrastructure (James and Morey 1993)

Giant Burrowing Frog

Heleioporus australiacus

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Unknown

  • Range size within region: (ha): Unknown

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Unknown but probably wide

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Not described within the Central Highlands but known to use Montane Riparian Forest, Montane Sclerophyll Woodland, Riparian Forest, Wet Forest, Dry Forest, Damp Forest in other areas.

  • Source: Gillespie (1990)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown in the Central Highlands but have not been recorded in other areas where they were known from historically.

  • Source: Gillespie (1990), Mazzer (1994).

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: High, several individuals have been recorded long distances from water bodies

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: Mazzer (1994)

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: High

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Unknown

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 775-1239

  • Mean no of clutches/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: Unknown, between November and May, egg masses were found in February within the Central Highlands

  • Source: Littlejohn and Martin (1967), Watson and Martin (1973), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Unknown

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): No information

  • Length (mm): snout-vent 80-90

  • Source: Littlejohn and Martin (1967)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Unknown

  • Territoriality: Males during breeding season

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Unknown

  • Mode of feeding: Generalist predator (arthropods)

  • Source: Littlejohn and Martin (1967), Webb (1983), Webb (1987)


THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (2) Gillespie (1990), Mazzer (1994), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (2) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

3. Logging Ranking: (2) Bury and Corn (1988), Campbell and Doeg (1989), Mazzer (1994), deMaynadier and Hunter (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (1) Mazzer (1994), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (1) Mazzer (1994), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

6. Grazing: Ranking (0)

7. Disease: Ranking (0)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (-) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (-) G. Gillespie pers. comm.



11. Roading: Ranking (1) Campbell and Doeg (1989), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

12. Recreation: Ranking (1) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (0)

14. Other: Ranking (0)
Current Management:

The Giant Burrowing Frog is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and an Action Statement has been prepared (Mazzer 1994). Intended management actions include prescriptions for timber harvesting and fuel reduction burning at sites where the species is located, the conduction of research into aspects of the species’ ecology and the monitoring of sites where the species has been recorded in recent years.


Comments: Within the Central Highlands the Giant Burrowing Frog was located with egg masses in 1966, approximately 11 km south of Walhalla (Littlejohn and Martin 1967). This is one of only a few breeding records within the State. The species has not been recorded since and its current status within the Central Highlands is unknown.
There is very little information on the basic biology and ecology of the Giant Burrowing Frog (Gillespie 1990, Mazzer 1994). The species is known to use small flowing streams as breeding sites. Outside of the breeding season it has been located within forests away from water, indicating it utilises or at least disperses through forested areas (Gillespie 1990). Timber harvesting is possibly a moderate threat to the Giant Burrowing Frog in the Central Highlands due to the concommitant reduction in litter and ground cover layers that harbour invertebrate food (Mazzer 1994). The effect of forest fragmentation on the species is unknown but may be significant. Changes to stream flow and perenniality within catchments carrying large areas of regrowth forest as a consequence of logging or wildfire are also threats. Herbicide spraying following weed invasion is also a potential threat to the species (Mazzer 1994, G. Gillespie pers. comm.).

Spotted Tree Frog

Litoria spenceri

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (km): 30

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): < 1

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: 2 populations, one <1000 (Goulburn River) and the second <1500 adults (Taponga River)

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (m): <200m

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Montane Riparian Thicket, Riparian Thicket, Riparian Forest, Shrubby Dry Forest, Heathy Dry Forest, Grassy Dry Forest, Damp Forest

  • Source: Gillespie and Hollis (1996)

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Gillespie and Hollis (1996)

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Gillespie and Hollis (1996)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: High

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Low

  • Average distances dispersed: No dispersal

  • Maximum distance dispersed: No dispersal

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): > 2.5 females, >1.5 males,

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: 630 eggs

  • Mean no of clutches/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: December (eggs laid)

  • Source: Gillespie et al. (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Long

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): 6 females, 5 males

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): 12 females, 4.5 males (maximum)

  • Length (mm): 37-53 females, 24-38 males

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Non-colonial

  • Territoriality: Males during breeding season

  • Source: Gillespie (1993), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Insectivore

  • Source: Ehmann et al. (1992),G. Gillespie pers. comm.


THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (2) Watson et al. (1991), G. Gillespie pers. comm., Robertson in prep.

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (2) G. Gillespie pers. comm., Robertson in prep.

3. Logging: Ranking (3) Bruce and Cormn (1988), Campbell and Doeg (1989), Watson et al. (1991), deMaynadier and Hunter (1995), Gillespie and Hollis (1996), Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm.

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (3) Watson et al. (1991), G. Gillespie per. comm.

5. Pest Control: Ranking (2) G. Gillespie pers. comm., Robertson in prep.

6. Grazing: Ranking (1) Watson et al. (1991), Gillespie and Hollis (1996), Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm. ,

7. Disease: Ranking (-) G. Gillespie per. comm.

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (0) G. Gillespie pers. comm.



10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (2) Hall (1988), Watson et al. (1991), Gillespie and Hollis (1996), Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm.

11. Roading: Ranking (3) Campbell and Doeg (1989), Watson et al. (1991), Gillespie and Hollis (1996), Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm.

12. Recreation: Ranking (2) Watson et al. (1991), Gillespie and Hollis (1996), Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (1) Watson et al. (1991), Gillespie and Hollis (1996), Robertson in prep., Gillespie pers. comm

14. Other: Dams Ranking (3) Watson et al. (1991), Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm., Enhanced Greenhouse Effect: Ranking (3) Bennett et al. (1991), G. Gillespie pers. comm.
Current Management:

The Spotted Tree Frog is listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. An action statement is currently being prepared. The species is also listed under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. Under the Code of Forest Practices for Timber Production (CNR 1996a) the water quality and riparian vegetation of permanent streams are protected by a buffer on either side of the stream of a minimum width of 20m. Trees must not be felled within or into buffer strips and machinery must not enter other than for construction and use of approved stream crossings.


Comments: The Spotted Tree Frog inhabits rocky, swift-flowing upland streams in dissected mountainous country. The distribution of individuals along the stream is patchy and is generally associated with substrates of loose rock, rocky banks and rapids. Adjacent stream-side vegetation is used for shelter and basking. Extensive searches of every major stream within the broad distribution of the Spotted Tree Frog have found only 11 extant populations. The distribution of the species is fragmented and there has been a significant decline during the last 20 years (Watson et al. 1991, Gillespie and Hollis 1996, G. Gillespie pers. comm, Robertson in prep.). Surveys are conducted during the breeding season and are confined to rivers; use of adjoining forest in the non-breeding season is unknown (G. Gillespie pers. comm., Robertson in prep).
Within the Central Highlands the Spotted Tree Frog is found in Big River, Taponga River, Still Creek, Black River and Goulburn River. The species is locally common in these rivers with the exception of the Big River where numbers have decreased markedly and the species is now extremely rare (G. Gillespie pers. comm.). Spotted Tree Frogs appear to have disappeared from the Woods Point area; number have declined in the Goulburn River (Gillespie 1993). Recent surveys have failed to locate Spotted Tree Frogs in the Thompson River where it was formerly known (Gillespie and Hollis 1996).
In most cases the intensity, extent and timing of different disturbances are unknown (Gillespie 1993). Disturbances in and adjacent to streams and in stream catchments which effect water quality and flow and cause altered streambed conditions (eg sedimentation), and changes to stream-side vegetation are likely causes of population declines (Gillespie and Hollis 1996). Such threats include logging within catchments, roading, wildfire, inappropriate fire regimes, eductor dredging, dam construction, herbicide use, and recreation activities (Robertson in prep., G. Gillespie pers. comm.) Anthropogenic disturbances including recreation/human access to catchments, off road vehicles, and clearance of bank vegetation for bush camping, have been negatively correlated with the relative abundance of the Spotted Tree Frog. Eductor dredging, roads near streams and post-1972 logging in catchments were also negatively correlated with abundance (Gillespie and Hollis 1996). Predation of eggs and larvae by trout is also a threat to the species (Watson et al. 1991, G. Gillespie pers. comm.). Habitat alteration as a consequence of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect is a major threat to the Spotted Tree Frog (Bennett et al. 1991, G. Gillespie pers. comm.).

Alpine Tree Frog

Litoria verreauxii alpina

RARITY

a) Geographic Range

  • Classification of range size: Small

  • Range size within region: (ha): 60 000 - 98 000

  • Proportion of region occupied (%): 3 - 8

  • Source: Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, CNR and AHC (1994)

b) Abundance

  • Classification of abundance: Low

  • Population Estimate: Unknown

  • Density: Unknown

  • Home Range (ha): Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Habitat Specificity

  • Classification of habitat specificity: Narrow

  • Vegetation types used in the region: Dry Subalpine Shrubland, Damp Subalpine Heathland, Wet Subalpine Heathland, Subalpine Woodland, Montane Dry Woodland, Montane Forest

  • Source: Gillespie et al. (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

DYNAMICS

Population Trend in Last Decade

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Gillespie et al. (1995)

Population trend since discovery by Europeans

  • Increasing, stable or declined: Declined

  • Source: Gillespie et al. (1995)

SPATIAL DYNAMICS

a) Population variability

  • Classification of population variability: Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Dispersal

  • Classification of powers of dispersal: Low

  • Average distances dispersed: Unknown

  • Maximum distance dispersed: Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

LIFE HISTORY PARAMETERS

a) Reproductive output

  • Classification of reproductive output: Low

  • Age of sexual maturity (yrs): Unknown

  • Mean clutch/litter/brood size: Unknown

  • Mean no of clutches/litters/broods per year: 1

  • Time of year young born/hatch: December

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

b) Longevity

  • Classification of lifespan: Unknown

  • Average lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Maximum lifespan (yrs): Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

c) Morphology

Adult body size



  • Weight (g): Unknown

  • Length (mm): 30 snout-vent

  • Source: Cogger (1995)

d) Social organisation

  • Colonial or non-colonial: Colonial (breeding)

  • Territoriality: Unknown

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.

e) Other

  • Nomadic, migratory, sedentary: Sedentary

  • Mode of feeding: Opportunistic predator

  • Source: G. Gillespie pers. comm.



THREATS

1. Fire (planned): Ranking (-)

2. Fire (unplanned): Ranking (-)

3. Logging: Ranking (-)

4. Introduced Species: Ranking (-)

5. Pest Control: Ranking (0)



6. Grazing: Ranking (2) Gillespie et al. (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm.

7. Disease: Ranking (0)

8. Illegal harvesting: Ranking (0)

9. Non-forestry Clearing: Ranking (2) Gillespie et al. (1995)

10. Mining/Quarrying: Ranking (0)

11. Roading: Ranking (-)

12 Recreation: Ranking (2) G. Gillespie pers. comm.

13. Vandalism/Disturbance by Humans: Ranking (0)



14. Other, Hydroelectric facilities: Ranking (1) Gillespie et al. (1995) Enhanced Greenhouse Effect: Ranking (3) Bennett et al. (1991), Gillespie et al. (1995), G. Gillespie pers. comm. Ozone depletion: Ranking (3) (G. Gillespie pers. comm.).
Current Management:

The species is classified as “insufficently known” in Victoria (CNR 1995A). There are no current management actions in operation to ameliorate potential threats to this species.


Comments: The Alpine Tree Frog is a high-altitude subspecies of the Whistling Tree Frog. This largely terrestrial species is found at altitudes above 1200m in southern N.S.W. and eastern Victoria. Within the Central Highlands, Alpine Tree Frogs have been recorded at Mt Baw Baw and Lake Mountain. Many records are pre 1980. Since this time there have been fewer records and a large decrease in numbers on the Baw Baw Plateau, (G. Hollis pers. comm. in Gillespie et al. 1995) and it is likely the population is declining. The current status of the species in other alpine regions within the Central Highlands is unknown (Gillespie et al. 1995).
Large breeding populations of the Alpine Tree Frog occur on plains or open valleys where there are stream side pools, fens and bogs. The subspecies also breeds around the margins of artificial lakes (Gillespie et al. 1995). The ecology of the species is virtually unknown however, major threats most likely relate to disturbances which impact on the breeding sites and include clearing associated with development, human recreation activities and trampling by grazing cattle. The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect may result in altered breeding conditions and is a major threat to alpine frog species including the Alpine Tree Frog (Gillespie et al. 1995). An increase in UV radiation is known to cause the death of the eggs and larvae of this species and is also a major threat as a consequence of ozone depletion (G. Gillespie pers. comm.).


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