Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

OUR WORK

Australia is a world leader in species extinction and declines, largely due to invasive species.

Our Work  |  Ending extinction | Photo by Martin Cohen

 

Extinct: Sharp-snouted day frog

In the rainforests of north Queensland this frog, though small, attracted attention to itself by being active by day, widespread and noisy. Males often called all day from first light into the evening, like a spoon tapping on a glass: ‘tink…tink…tink’. They were so common that as many as 20 might be found along 20 metres of stream.

In the 1980s they began disappearing from the southern parts of their range in the Wet Tropics, in an extinction wave that rolled north for 300 kilometres until it hit the Big Tableland at the very top of the Wet Tropics. Here, out of concern about many disappearances, national park ranger Keith McDonald began in 1992 to monitor the frogs every 4 to 6 weeks. In late 1993 the wave struck, bringing down 3 species he was watching. Along a hundred metre stretch of stream he saw numbers of day frogs plummet from a high of almost 80 to zero in a couple of months.

In a frantic bid to save the species more than a hundred sharp-snouted day frogs and tadpoles were collected for captive breeding at Taronga Zoo and Melbourne Zoo. Despite the best possible care, they succumbed to infections and died – every single one. A colony kept for breeding at James Cook University in Townsville also died out. The species was unsavable. The last wild sighting was in 1997.

This extinction is one of several blamed on chytrid fungus, a pathogen from Asia. The fungus was found on dead and dying frogs collected at Big Tableland and on frogs that died at Melbourne Zoo. 

“Sharp-snouted day frogs were especially abundant and would sit on mossy rocks on the edge of the stream during the day. If you walked down a stream you literally had to watch and wait before each step until they hopped off the rock.” – Biologist Martin Cohen

Photo by Martin Cohen

Extinct

Australia has lost about 100 native plants and animals to extinction since colonisation, most of which were mainly due to invasive species. An estimated 27 of those extinctions occurred since the 1960s. 

Learn more about some of Australia’s lost animals:

Christmas Island pipistrelle

EXTINCT (2000s)

Desert bandicoot

EXTINCT (1970s)

Yallara (lesser bilby)

EXTINCT (1960s)

Mountain mist frog

EXTINCT (1990s)

White-chested white-eye

EXTINCT (2000s)

Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]


Dear Project Team,

[YOUR PERSONALISED MESSAGE WILL APPEAR HERE.] 

I support the amendment to the Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Heritage Management Plan to allow our incredible National Parks staff to use aerial shooting as one method to rapidly reduce feral horse numbers. I want to see feral horse numbers urgently reduced in order to save the national park and our native wildlife that live there.

The current approach is not solving the problem. Feral horse numbers have rapidly increased in Kosciuszko National Park to around 18,000, a 30% jump in just the past 2 years. With the population so high, thousands of feral horses need to be removed annually to reduce numbers and stop our National Park becoming a horse paddock. Aerial shooting, undertaken humanely and safely by professionals using standard protocols, is the only way this can happen.

The government’s own management plan for feral horses states that ‘if undertaken in accordance with best practice, aerial shooting can have the lowest negative animal welfare impacts of all lethal control methods’.

This humane and effective practice is already used across Australia to manage hundreds of thousands of feral animals like horses, deer, pigs, and goats.

Trapping and rehoming of feral horses has been used in Kosciuszko National Park for well over a decade but has consistently failed to reduce the population, has delayed meaningful action and is expensive. There are too many feral horses in the Alps and not enough demand for rehoming for it to be relied upon for the reduction of the population.

Fertility control as a management tool is only effective for a small, geographically isolated, and accessible population of feral horses where the management outcome sought is to maintain the population at its current size. It is not a viable option to reduce the large and growing feral horse population in the vast and rugged terrain of Kosciuszko National Park.

Feral horses are trashing and trampling our sensitive alpine ecosystems and streams, causing the decline and extinction of native animals. The federal government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee has stated that feral horses ‘may be the crucial factor that causes final extinction’ for 12 alpine species.

I recognise the sad reality that urgent and humane measures are necessary to urgently remove the horses or they will destroy the Snowies and the native wildlife that call the mountains home. I support a healthy national park where native species like the Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum can thrive.

Kind regards,
[Your name]
[Your email address]
[Your postcode]