FrogWatch Bio-Indicator study 2018

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This is a very exciting project- building on the 2015 Bio-indicator study!!

Objectives:
Building on from Hoefer and Starrs (2016), this project expanded the number of indicator sites from 30 to 45 sites, encompassing newly designed Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) infrastructure within the ACT. This provided a key baseline for comparison of habitat values of  ACT Healthy Waterways constructed WSUD infrastructure in the near future. Furthermore, a re-examination of sites used in the 2015 study validated the benefits accruing due to improved waterway management, with implications for the application of the revised mowing guidelines, and the Lakes and Ponds Plan of Management.

The specific aims of this project were to:
1. monitor frog species richness weekly over a 4 weeks period during October 2018
2. assess pond vegetation condition in early October 2018 in accordance with the methodology outlined in Hoefer and Starrs (2016)
3. establish the presence/absence of gambusia, an introduced fish prevalent in our urban wetlands and known to directly affect frog diversity, in January 2019
4. examine how the revised mowing guidelines are being applied to ponds in the ACT at 45 sites across the ACT

Anticipated benefits of the collected data:
• Yard stick to examine the additional value of ACT Healthy Waterways WSUD assets
• Improved understanding of how urban green space can support ecosystem function
• critical tool for the evaluation of the Lakes and Ponds Plan of Management
• Evidence for the performance of the revised mowing guidelines will allow constructive feedback to management
• Provision of much needed support to a highly successful citizen science program
• Increased understanding of habitat needs and pressures on various local frog species

So stay tuned!!

Ginninderra Catchment Group and ACT and Region Frogwatch would like to acknowledge the generous funding from ACT Healthy Waterways!