Korumburra Landcare, held a meeting on Tuesday 4th June, where we had a special guest come along and give us her wisdom on all things frogs. Lovely soup and arancini balls with real saffron was served to keep us all warm and happy.
The night was held at Prom Country Cheese, in their warm dining area. Bronwyn and Burke do a magnificent job as hosts, very humble and have big hearts. There were cheese platters for nibbles (and by the looks of the empty platters, the cheeses were well received!) Bronwyn made arancini balls with real saffron from Sandra. Some home made soups were the main meal on a very chilly night, and range of homemade desserts on offer too. We filled our bellies in anticipation for our guest speaker.
Dr Lynette Plenderleith has a massive love for frogs, a wildlife biologist, who has a PhD in Australian Frogs, a Masters Degree in Salamander ecology and a natural knack of interpreting science for the general public. Lynette is the founder and chair person of Frogs Victoria (which is how Korumburra Landcare Group came into contact with her), she is President of Victorian branch of the Australian Science Communicators.
Lynette has a bubbly, energetic personality, she has a vast range of knowledge of frogs from around the world and Australia, yet she communicates on a level that for the whole 75 minutes the 25-30 members were so engaged, they didn’t want the presentation to stop.
It was such a delight to learn some very random and extremely interesting facts about frogs from all over the world. Frogs are a great sign of a healthy eco system, most frogs around south Gippsland are land dwellers, and frogs breathe through their skin. The scientists are still debating the actual difference between a frog, froglet and toadlet, as the Australian amphibians made the scientists shift their generic views!!!
We all know from stories we have been read as kids, read to our kids or grandkids that frogs say “ribbit”, well Lynette informed us there is only ONE species in the entire world that makes the “ribbit” noise we are so familiar with teaching young kids. Can you guess where that species comes from…Hollywood!!! The Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla).
There is a frog that back in the day was shipped all around the world as it became a pregnancy test for humans, The African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis), but unfortunately these frogs carried a chytrid fungus, so when they were released after being used as a pregnancy test, they caused many native species to die out due to carrying this fungus.
There are 16 frogs listed as occurring in the region of Phillip Island and Gippsland, Southern Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingi) and Eastern Banjo Frog Pobblebonk (Limnodynastes dumerili) just to name two species.
Dave Bateman, gave us all a brief update with what plantings are going on within our group, and Bass Coast Landcare in general. He showed us footage from the newly purchased drone that Landcare now possesses, which will be a great educational and observational tool over the coming years.
It was a fantastic and informative night, great people, great food and a very interesting subject. If you are ever in Melbourne, Frogs Victoria hold informative nights once a month, with different guest speakers.
If you would like more information on Frogs in Victoria or South Gippsland visit https://frogs.org.au/frogs/ofVic/Phillip_Island_and_Gippsland
If you would like a great informative app, where you can record the sounds of frogs and get feedback on what species they are download
Article by Melynda Dawson from the Korumburra Landcare Group.
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