SPECIES: Litoria raniformis — Southern Bell Frog
How many of our native threatened species' stories start in this way: a species that was once widespread across most parts of Australia. The Southern Bell Frog is another species that was once in abundance. It is now confined to southern SA & NSW and parts of Vic & Tas. On the Murray River in SA, where there was once 50 known populations, there is now just one battling to survive.
Also known as the Growling Grass Frog, they often have a coppery pigment along their sides and an iridescent green sheen along their backbones. The Southern Bell Frog is known to hunt and eat other frogs and strangely, part of their call is said to resemble the sound of a duck or goose being strangled! The biggest threats facing the Southern Bell Frog include habitat loss, droughts, predation by introduced fish species and disease.
Our project to help the Southern Bell Frog bounce back through a captive breeding and release program is progressing well. For more info, visit the project page of the website www.fame.org.au
Photo: Nature Glenelg Trust