AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Frog abundance and diversity in urban and non-urban habitats in the upper Blue Mountains (New South Wales)

by Alan Gordon Lane

Institution: University of Western Sydney
Degree: MS
Year: 0
Keywords: Blue Mountains, N.S.W; frogs; types of habitat
Record ID: 1061857
Full text PDF: http://handle.uws.edu.au:8081/1959.7/463


This study was undertaken between July 24, 2003 and January 16, 2004 to investigate the influence of urban development upon the abundance and species diversity of frogs in the upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. Five urban sites were paired with matched non-urban sites. Urban sites were located within or on the fringes of the towns of Katoomba and Blackheath and were subject to varying degrees of physical disturbance, as well as degradation and pollution by urban runoff and sewage. The non-urban sites were located within the Blue Mountains National Park and were effectively un-impacted by human activity. No adequate explanation emerged for the marked difference between the frog assemblages at the two types of habitat. It is speculated that the salts, detergents and other chemicals in urban wastewaters (roadway runoff, yard runoff and sewage) may provide the frogs at urban sites with some level of protection against disease, particularly chytridiomycosis. All indications from this and previous work are that the frog abundance and diversity in non-urban habitats in the upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales are showing the same trends in decline as observed in other montane regions of Australia. Urban habitats are important population reservoirs for the diversity of frog species absent from the non-urban habitats, but are vulnerable to progressive destruction from a variety of human impacts. Efforts should be made by municipal authorities to recognise their significance and to protect them from future loss Master of Science (Hons)