Frog Census app hits 1,000 recordings as frog fanatics come out in droves

Melburnians have gone hopping mad for the new Melbourne Water Frog Census app.​

Since the launch of a new app in September last year, participation has increased, records are ‘jumping’ in at unprecedented rates and Melburnians have uncovered some exciting finds.

The Melbourne Water Frog Census is a community frog monitoring program that collects data to assist in mapping Melbourne’s frog populations.

Now in its 16th year, data collected from the census is used to help Melbourne Water focus its conservation efforts, including work to improve habitat and the environmental health of waterways.
 
The app has made getting involved easier than ever before and Melburnians have been out in droves over the past year, recording 15 of Melbourne’s 16 frog species.
 
Melbourne Water Waterwatch Coordinator James Frazer said it was fantastic to see such enthusiasm from the community.
 
“It’s wonderful to see community members becoming ‘citizen scientists’ and contributing valuable data that really does make a difference to our waterways and to the environment,” said Mr Frazer.
 
“Frogs are very sensitive to changes in climate, rainfall and the environment, which makes them excellent indicators of overall environmental health. The data received from the community helps us make important decisions about where we need to target our efforts for particular species and populations of frogs.
 
“We recently had our 1,000th record submitted through the app, which is very exciting. In 2015/16, before the introduction of the app, 249 reports were submitted for the whole year, so it’s clear to see that the app has been a huge success and we’re thrilled with the uptake.”
 
The launch of the app has seen not only unprecedented numbers of recordings submitted, but has also seen a dramatic increase in the number of volunteers participating in the census.
 
“We’re thrilled that we have nearly 600 volunteers currently participating in the Melbourne Water Frog Census – a huge increase from our 80 registered volunteers inn 2015/16, before the introduction of the app,” said Mr Frazer.
 
“It’s great to see the app is making it easier for people to get involved and we are very thankful for the data we receive from the community.”
 
Data submitted to Melbourne Water through the Frog Census is sent to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas and Atlas of Living Australia, and is used to inform important decisions, including threatened species nominations.
 
App users have submitted some exciting records, including rare and endangered frogs like the Growling Grass Frog and Southern Toadlet, and frogs in a number of unusual places.
 
The endangered Growling Grass Frog has been found in backyards, school frog ponds, and even on the edge of a cricket pitch, while the census and its dedicated volunteers have been responsible for the first Frog Census record in five years for the Common Spadefoot Toad, and the first record in eight years for the Red Groined Froglet.
 
Melbourne’s frogs can be found almost anywhere with water nearby, such as your local river, creek, wetland or even in your backyard or local park.
 
“The app is really easy to use and no special skills are required. Every recording you submit is valuable and helps us better understand the status of Melbourne’s frog populations, several of which are endangered,” said Mr Frazer.
 
For more information on the Melbourne Water Frog Census or to download the app visit: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/frogcensus
 
Melbourne Water frequently runs frog citizen science events, keep up to date here: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/getinvolved/events/Pages/Events.aspx

Frog reports submitted by region, Greater Melbourne* 12 Sept 2016 – 16 May 2017

Region ​Number of reports
​North ​226
​East ​229
​South ​143
​West ​133
 *Does not include reports submitted outside of Greater Melbourne.
Media contact
Josie Emanuel (03) 9679 7311; 0428 945 556