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Heading out to hear the chorus!

Baw Baw Frog

We got the call from the field team that things are looking good for a collection of Baw Baw eggs – in fact we were told that the guys were lucky enough to hear a Baw Baw chorus!

What exactly is a Baw Baw chorus you ask? Well, it’s a number of male frogs strumming away, singing their little hearts out to impress the girl frogs. News from the field is that they heard 15 males calling within a 20m radius – how incredible, especially for a critically endangered frog! I think they found the hotspot!

Below is the first ever recording of a Baw Baw Frog call, thanks to legendary frog researcher Murray Littlejohn.

baw baw call-murray littlejohn (mp3)

It was recorded in the 1960s when humans were all listening to the Beatles and frog choruses on Mount Baw Baw were common place. Sounds incredible doesn’t it? These frogs have been a part of this environment for so long it makes us even more determined to save the species!

Off to Mount Baw Baw!

As the calls are coming in thick and fast since the weather has improved a little, it sounds to me that there is likely to be some egg masses being deposited soon, so we decided to pack up the truck and head out there yesterday afternoon.

Some of the gear we have on board:
-    Swabs to test any frogs we find for chytrid– a nasty fungus affecting frog populations all over the world
-    Bottles and equipment for water testing- We need to make sure we get the conditions at the zoo perfect for the eggs when we bring them in
-    An esky– not for drinks but for the eggs themselves. If you remember last week’s blog it gets pretty icy up on Mt Baw Baw, so we need to have a good esky to keep the cool temperatures perfect for the egg mass’ return to Melbourne Zoo.

The field team have the radios and other gear we need up there already. I had to pack some good work wear as well- as you can see below, if we want to hear the frogs when they head down into the seepage lines they live in, we are going to have to get dirty!

Ear to the mud listening for frogs…

Praying for a sign?

Well I better go and get settled on the mountain top. I’ll touch base with you again by the end of the week. Wish us luck!

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