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Green and Golden Bell Frog and Shore Birds in the Hunter Estuary
October 21, 2009 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Michelle Stockwell (from the Amphibian Research Group at the University of Newcastle’s School of Environmental and Life Sciences) will summarise a research program she implemented focusing on the Green and Golden Bell Frog. The amphibian chyrtid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) is an aquatic pathogen that infects the outer epidermal layers of post-metamorphic amphibians causing the fatal disease chytridiomycosis. Chytridiomycosis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of over 200 amphibian species worldwide, one of which is the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea). The green and golden bell frog is an endangered pond breeding species that has declined from over 90% of its former range and currently occurs as a series of isolated populations in highly disturbed coastal environments. Green and Golden Bell Frogs are very susceptible to chytridiomycosis and yet many remaining populations persist with low-level chytrid infections. This study investigated the role of environmental inhibitors of the chytrid fungus in allowing the Green and Golden Bell frog to persist. The presentation will also cover implications of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act with respect to the species. [Our apologies, Michelle came down with the flu and was unable to present at this seminar – she will instead present on 21 April 2010]
Chris Herbert will talk on Shorebirds in the Hunter Estuary and the Trouble with Mangroves. Chris is a member of the Hunter Bird Observers Club and has been a member of the Newcastle City Council Hunter Estuary Technical Working Party during the preparation of the Hunter Estuary Management Plan. He has been monitoring birds on the Hunter Estuary monthly for ten years, producing an outstanding longitudinal study of bird populations in the estuary. Chris prepared the report ‘Distribution, Abundance and Status of Birds in the Hunter Estuary for the Management Study stage of the Estuary Management Plan. Amongst other issues, Chris will address changes on the quality of wader habitat in the Hunter Estuary, including ongoing invasion of saltmarsh by mangroves and the implications of other changes to the estuary for sustainable populations of wader species, many of which are listed under international conservation agreements such as JAMBA and CAMBA.