Archey's Frog Conservation
Every adult Archey's frog t-shirt sold gives $5 to DoC's native frog recovery efforts for predator control on the Pukeokahu area of Pureora Forest Park, an important population of the critically endangered, and unique Archey’s frog.
Below is a summary of why our frogs are so special, and what DoC's native frog recovery efforts are doing to help.
"New Zealand’s native frogs (pepeketua) are some of the most ancient frogs in the world, possessing unique traits, which set them apart. These include features such as round eyes; no eardrum meaning they don’t croak like other frogs and no tadpole stage, instead the young hatch as almost fully formed froglets.
Archey’s frog is the smallest of our frog species and occurs in moist native forest areas predominantly above 600m. They are especially unique in that the male shows parental care and carries the young on his back until they are fully formed. Due to habitat clearance; introduced predators and disease the range of Archey’s frog has been reduced to only two naturally occurring populations on the Coromandel Peninsula and in the Whareorino Forest in the Waikato.
Archey's frog in a mirror box (left) and juvenile Archey's frog (right) Photos by Kate McKenzie.
Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has contributed to amphibian declines worldwide and has been present in New Zealand since 1999. Following a sudden crash in the Archey’s frog population in the Coromandel and the discovery of rat predated frogs in Whareorino it was decided in 2006 that an emergency translocation was required to create another population away from the two main Archey’s frog strongholds. Following disease screening, 70 Archey’s frogs were released into a pig proof fenced area in the Pukeokahu area of Pureora Forest Park.
The results since release have been incredibly positive with 262 captures since 2007. Given the cryptic nature of these frogs and their ability to disperse from the release site it is also likely that a large proportion of the original frogs are still alive but have simply not been caught.
The money from every Archey’s frog t-shirt sold will go towards helping to fund predator control around the release site at Pukeokahu. Rat control is vital for ensuring the survival and breeding of Archey’s frog and without it such great breeding results would never have been seen. Buy a shirt to help save the worlds most primitive frog species!"
Photo credit Kate McKenzie
To find out more about our native frogs and native frog conservation visit the links below: