Frog Week with Gerry and Tim

Green frog - photo by flickr.com/mouse

It’s frog week! My favourite week of the year.

But this one comes under a large grey cloud.

My local native frog rellies have not been faring well for a while. They’re threatened by diseases including the frog fungus disease (chytridiomycosis); predation by rats, stoats, introduced frogs, possums, pigs and cats; habitat loss and modification; toxins from human activity; climate change; and illegal collection.

But now they have a new predator – Gerry with his sidekick Tim. All New Zealand’s native frog species are now threatened by mining.

Three of the four live in Schedule 4 places that Gerry and Tim are considering mining, which should not be surprising because Schedule 4 is there to protect our highest value conservation treasures from mining. What is surprising is that Maud Island – the only home of Maud Island frogs is NOT in Schedule 4.

I thought Tim’s job was to look after my little slippery friends – to advocate for and support DOC to protect them from existing threats. Instead Tim has let Gerry add yet another threat. Tim, you should be adding Maud Island to Schedule 4, not looking at whether Gerry can dig up the other 3!

A mark of respect please for a froggy roll-call:

Hamilton’s Frog

Status: Nationally critical
Location: Stephens Island/Takapourewa Nature Reserve in the Marlborough Sounds

Maud Island Frog

Status: Nationally endangered
Location: Maud Island/Te Hoiere Scientific Reserve in the Marlborough Sounds

Archey’s frog

Status: Nationally Critical
Location: Predominately in Coromandel conservation lands

Hochstetter’s frog

Status: Sparse
Location: Significant populations in Coromandel conservation lands and Raukumara Wilderness Area

Map of frog distribution from DOC

Map of frog distribution from DOC

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