Gastric-brooding Frog - Cause of Extinction

Cause of Extinction

See also: Extinction risk from global warming and Chytridiomycosis

The cause for the gastric-brooding frogs' extinction is unknown but habitat loss/degradation, pollution, pathogens, parasites and over collecting may have contributed. A direct threat to the habitats through human activities was not clearly apparent and chytrid fungus is suspected to have caused declines in this species. Populations of Southern Gastric-brooding Frogs were present in logged catchments between 1972 and 1979. The effects of such logging activities upon Southern Gastric-brooding Frogs was not investigated but the species did continue to inhabit streams in the logged catchments. The habitat that the Southern Gastric-brooding Frog once inhabited is now threatened by feral pigs, the invasion of weeds, altered flow and water quality problems caused by upstream disturbances. Despite intensive searching, the species has not been located since 1979 or 1981 (depending on the source).

The Eungella National Park, where the Northern Gastric-brooding Frog was once found, was under threat from bushfires and weed invasion. Continual fires may have destroyed or fragmented sections of the forest. The outskirts of the park are still subject to weed invasion and chytrid fungus has been located within several rainforest creeks within the park. It was thought that the declines of the Northern Gastric-brooding Frog during 1984 and 1985 were possibly normal population fluctuations. Despite continued efforts to locate the Northern Gastric-brooding Frog it has not been found. The last reported wild specimen was seen in the 1980s. In August 2010 a search organised by the Amphibian Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature set out to look for various species of frogs thought to be extinct in the wild, including the gastric-brooding frog.

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