The removal of non-native fish to help protect the Critically Endangered Spotted Tree Frog in year one of a six-year Management Trial - Report

Date: 26, Nov, 2021
Author(s): Matt West  
Publisher: TSR Hub

The Spotted Tree Frog, Litoria spenceri, has disappeared from 50% of historic sites, is rare at all remaining sites, and is expected to become extinct without intervention. Nationally, the Spotted Tree Frogs’ conservation status is under review and expected to change to Critically Endangered from the current Endangered (EPBC Act) listing. Population declines are considered driven primarily by non-predatory native fish and disease caused by chytrid fungus. Currently, chytrid cannot be eliminated from the fast-flowing streams in which Spotted Tree Frogs breed. Non-native fish management is technically feasible and is a key action identified in the Spotted Tree Frog EPBC Conservation Advice.

The project aims in the first year were:

  1. To determine which fish species are present above and below the barrier before commencing non-native fish removals.

  2. To establish a mark-recapture program that can evaluate changes in the abundance of fish above and below the barrier during the non-native fish Management Trial.

  3. To reduce the number of non-native fish above the barrier in the first year of the Management Trial using mechanical (angling and electrofishing) methods.