In January 2020, the Orroral Valley fire burnt 80% of Namadgi National Park (82,700 hectares), including extensive frog habitat. There is only a limited understanding of frog species' responses to fire and the lasting negative effects or how long frog populations take to recover from large-scale fires.
More information is urgently required to guide management actions to protect threatened frogs in the bushfire-affected ACT alpine areas.
Bushfire Recovery Project
This project will support the recovery of threatened frog species in bushfire affected areas of Namadgi National Park through establishing twelve long-term monitoring sites. Findings from this project, in combination with historical frog data, will provide a much-needed understanding of the current status of fire affected frog populations, including declining and locally rare species.
To ensure project legacy and long-term tracking of frog populations recovery post-fire, the study sites will be integrated into the annual FrogCensus, run by ACT and Region FrogWatch.
The process will build capacity and increase community engagement in bushfire recovery through citizen scientists collecting data that will track how well fire-affected frog populations are recovering over the next decade, including potential species losses or the arrival of previously absent species. This information is paramount to inform land managers and influence management practices for the ongoing survival of frog species in the alpine area of the ACT.
Long-term monitoring of remote sites is generally hindered by the costs involved. FrogWatch has developed an award-winning model of engaging citizen scientists in cost-effective conservation research for both community and environmental benefit. This project will provide training and capacity building for the local Landcare groups, landholders and other community members who participate as Citizen Scientists. It will also generate much-needed opportunities for hands-on participation in bushfire recovery activities for the hundreds of people who have registered interest.
This project aims to enhance the recovery and maximise the resilience of fire-affected native plant and animal species, ecological communities, and natural assets within the seven regions identified as most impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires, to build capacity for better delivery of environmental bushfire recovery projects, to increase engagement and participation of local Landcare groups, landholders and others in bushfire recovery activities.
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