The term mainly aplies to Australia, due to the large amount of frogs (up to 10000) a year being accidentally shipped from the homes while hiding in fruit produce, flowers and building and landscape supplies. Most of the lost frogs each year are shipped from Northern Australia to the larger cities in the south.
The majority of the lost frogs turn up in fruit shops and markets. These frogs are often just released into the surrounding areas. The release of lost frogs into areas that can be hundreds of kilometres from the orginal habitat can have devestating effects either on the released frog or the local frog populations. As lost frogs often end up being moved from tropical to cooler areas they often cannot adapt fast enough to the new climate, and due to the stress of being trucked hundreds of kilometres often suffer injuries and therefore are likely to die. Lost frogs are often responsible for the spread of disease in frogs. When a frog suffering from a disease is released into an area where the disease is not present it can have severe effects on the frogs already in the area. The fast spread of the Chytrid fungus around Australia is likely to have been asisted by the introduction of lost frogs into areas where the disease is currently absent.
Lost frogs should never been let go into the wild. To prevent the release of lost frogs many frog groups in Australias major cities have set up lost frog rescue services. The aim of such programs is to collect the lost frogs from fruit shops or landscaping suppliers and quarantine the frog from 2-3 months in order to make sure it is not a carrier of exotic diseases.
Quarantine is extremely important in the management of lost frogs. It involves holding the frog seperate from others in an esstially bare container, with nothing more than a water dish, a hiding place and food. The frogs must be checked regulary for any evidnece of disease and to monitor injury. Once the quarantine peroid is over the frog still cannot be released into the wild, and due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to track down the exact location where the frog originally came from, most lost frogs are sold to people willing to look after them or who want a frog as a pet.
Lost Frog Species
The majority of lost frogs are tree frog, as these frogs often live in banana plantations, and do not jump out of the banana when they are cut down for shipping. Therefore the majority of frogs that end up becoming lost frogs are:
- Dainty Green Tree Frog (Litoria gracilenta)-also known as Banana Frogs for this exact reason
- Green Tree Frog (Litoria caerulea}
- Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog (Litoria fallax)
- White Lipped Tree Frog (Litoria infrafrenata)
- Peron's Tree Frog (Litoria peronii)
There are no limit to what species frogs may be moved around. In building and landscaping materials the species are mainly ground frogs, the Spotted Grass Frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) is well known for being moved long distance in such materials, there are colonies of this species in areas well out of their range-these colonies are believed to be from frogs being accidentally moved around.
Cane Toads (Bufo marinus) are also known to become lost frogs, however they are very hardy and often do not die once the reach there destination. The movement of cane toads in building material is one of the main reasons for the spread of the species around Australia. Populations of Cane Toads infront of the main distribution such as the former population at Port Macquarie are believed to be displaced toads moved from areas in Queensland.
Any frog found in a fruit shop or outside of its normally range must be collected by a frog rescue service. The external links will give you contcts of frog rescue services in some of the major cities of Australia.
Expansion to Corroboree Frog Conservation Status
Added to Corroboree frog page. Both species of Corroboree Frogs has suffered serious declines. The Southern Corroboree Frog has sufferd the most. This speices is currently restricted to less than 10 square kilomtres and has suffered declines of up to 80% over the past 10 years. It is currently listed as critcally endangered and is considered to be one of Australias most endangered species. The Northern Corroboree Frog has not suffered as badly as the southern. It is more widely distributed and can be found in larger numbers at lower elevations. It has recently been downgraded from critcal to endangered by the IUCN.
Will work on this over the next 2 weeks.
Tyler's Tree Frog FPC
This photo is a clear demonstration of axillary amplexus in frogs. This photo also clearly illustrates the features of the Tyler's Tree Frog a frog native to the east coast of Australia. The features of the frog the this photo demonstrates include: lack of black line above tympanum, golden iris and poor black and yellow marbling in the thighs, which also helps distinguish between the closely related Peron's Tree Frog. This photo also demonstrates sexual dimorphism in frogs, where the male of this species goes a bright yellow in colour during the breeding season while females remain brown. This image appears in Tyler's Tree Frog and Amplexus, it was taken by Tnarg.