26.4 C
Byron Shire
January 29, 2022

Identifying endangered frogs made easy with new app

Latest News

Dr Kerry Chant COVID-19 stats update for January 21 to 27 and local update

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant gave her weekly COVID-19 stats update this morning during Premier Dominic Perrottet’s press conference.

Other News

Daintree buyback sees more forest retained

Over the last two-and-a-half years, the Mullumbimby based Rainforest 4 Foundation has had a mission to buy back parts of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest that were subdivided for sale in the 1980s. 

Lennox Head forge ahead across four grades in local cricket

Local cricket is approaching the midway point of the 2021–22 season and sees Lennox Head playing strongly across all four senior grades.

Happiness

Mick woke up this morning to a great epiphany. So, we’ve decided to forget all our activism, we’re going...

Lismore Citizen of the Year 

Recognising her tireless work in helping people living with Parkison’s Disease Di Lymbury was awarded Lismore Citizen of the Year. 

School return comes with COVID-19 measures

Today is the official first day of term one in most NSW schools and as students and parents prepare to start the school year, there are new guidelines in place to manage COVID-19 infections.

Check a charity’s status before donating to a good cause

It wouldn't be the first time generous people have been scammed by fake charities and in the wake of the Tonga disaster, Australia's charity regulator is urging a quick check before donating.

The endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. Photo Taronga Zoo taronga.org.au
The endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. Photo Taronga Zoo taronga.org.au

Australia’s first national frog count is underway and, with the aid of a new app, everyone can now join the battle to save one of the most threatened groups of animals on Earth.

The Australian Museum’s FrogID is a citizen science project that uses mobile phone technology and ‘audio DNA’ to discover where frogs are at risk and how to conserve them and our waterways.

The free FrogID app, developed in partnership with IBM, identifies frog species by the sounds they make – from croaks and chirps, to whistles and barks.

Up to 1 million Australians are expected to download the app and head to parks, creeks, dams or wetlands to listen for frog calls.

Recording and uploading these calls will map frog species across Australia and reveal where they are at risk from habitat loss, disease, climate change and urbanisation. You might even discover a new frog species!

Australian Museum Director and CEO, Kim McKay AO, said FrogID is a national citizen science rescue mission that everyone can take part in.

‘The power to save Australia’s frogs is now in the palm of your hand, whether you’re a family in your garden or on a bushwalk, at school or a grey nomad. Everyone can download the free FrogID app to help save these vulnerable species – the ‘canaries in the coal mine’ of climate change,’ Ms McKay said.

‘FrogID is a crowd-sourcing approach to conservation. The AM is proud in its 190th year to partner with IBM, the Australian Government and leading museums across the country on this ground-breaking union of citizen science and innovative technology.’

David La Rose, Managing Director, IBM Australia, said: ‘IBM has a long history in collaborating with organisations like the Australian Museum to develop technology that has a real impact on the everyday lives of Australians. This joint initiative to develop the FrogID app is an inspiring example of how technology and science can work together to tackle an important social issue, while empowering Australians to help us gain new insight into the state of our waterways and environment.’

One of Australia’s leading frog experts, Dr Jodi Rowley, AM Curator of Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Biology, said FrogID will help conserve our 240 native frog species and their habitats.

‘Frogs are a tipping point in the environment. The loss of frogs is also likely to have huge pest management implications for our agricultural production and wellbeing, as they help control insect populations, such as mosquitoes. If they disappear, entire ecosystems may be at risk,’ Dr Rowley said.

‘FrogID will allow us to make informed conservation decisions aimed at saving our frogs. But we need the public to play their part, so we can understand our many frog species across this vast country. By taking part in FrogID, you’re actively helping to save Australia’s frogs – you might even discover a new species.’

Dr Rowley, who is a joint appointment between the AM and UNSW Sydney, has discovered 26 frog species in Australia and Asia.

Why do frogs count?

Australia has 240 known species of native frogs, many of which are under threat. Hundreds of frog species have already disappeared worldwide and many more are on the edge of extinction.

Sir David Attenborough has described amphibians as ‘the lifeblood of many environments’. As one of the first animal species to feel the impact of environmental changes, declining frog populations are a ‘warning call’ about the impacts of climate change and pollution on Australia’s waterways, wildlife and ecosystems.

Frogs also play a critical role in the management of insect pests. Frog-skin secretions are also being explored in drugs to fight infection, release insulin, regulate the heart and cure diseases, such as cancer.

Which frog is that?

Each frog species has a unique call, which is the most accurate way to identify different frog species. Recording and uploading frog calls, via the FrogID app, will identify different frog species, along with time and location data, using GPS technology. A team of frog experts will verify calls submitted by the public. This data will help map frog populations across Australia and identify areas and species under threat.

It may not be easy being green, as Kermit the Frog said, but it has just become easier to help save our frogs by downloading the free FrogID app.

Find out more at www.frogid.net.au.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Richmond Valley Council Citizen awards

The contribution made to the Richmond Valley community by its citizens was recognised on 26 January through a range of awards and most particularly through the award of Citizen of the Year and Young Citizen of the Year. 

How depression makes people vulnerable to misinformation

A US study has found that people suffering from depression are much more likely to believe misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

Countbacks or by-elections for Ballina?

Cr Rod Bruem's first appearance in the Ballina Council chamber saw an attack on ALP candidates who narrowly failed to win seats in the recent local government election, with the councillor claiming it would be undemocratic for a countback to include 'rejected' Labor Party candidates if another councillor was unable to serve during the next 18 months.

Community building and disaster resilience

If you’ve ever wanted to be a volunteer, the Community Carers and Responders might be where you can lend a hand.