Native frogs still struggling

“Our frogs are just hanging on, there’s no doubt they’re still in grave danger.”

New Zealand’s pepeketua/native frog species remain in trouble, according to the latest report on the conservation status of New Zealand’s amphibian species.  So why is DoC continuing to allow gold exploration on conservation land inland from Whangamata where endangered frogs have one of their few remaining habitats?

Predators, mining activities and habitat loss are threatening frogs with extinction..

All non-managed populations are anticipated to have a declining population trend due to impacts of introduced predators as well as the continued potential impact of mining development in southern Coromandel” 

“New Zealand’s frogs have barely changed in 70 million years. They don’t croak like most frogs, they hatch as ‘froglets’ – almost fully formed frogs – rather than tadpoles, and their pupils are round rather than slit-shaped. The male Archey’s frog carries his offspring on his back.

Hochstetter’s frog is still classified as At Risk – Declining, reflecting the ongoing decline that is anticipated across all Hochstetter’s frog populations.

Archey’s frog has an improved status from Threatened – Nationally Vulnerable to At Risk – Declining. This change is due to a better understanding of likely population trends rather than observed increases in their populations.

Hochstetter’s frog is the most widespread native frog and occurs in the upper half of the North Island, including at Waipu, Aotea/Great Barrier Island, Coromandel, and the Raukumara Ranges. It is the most aquatic of the native frogs (living beside streams), is generally dark brown, grows up to 48 mm long, has partially webbed feet and has more warts than the other native frogs.

Archey’s frogs are modern-day dinosaurs, almost unchanged from their 150 million-year old fossilised relatives. Archey’s frog is internationally important and is the number one Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) amphibian species. It is our smallest native frog, growing up to 37 mm long, and like Hamilton’s frog it lives away from water on the forest floor. It is found in Coromandel Peninsula and Whareorino Forest.