Frogs on call after summer rains FROGS become more obvious after summer rains. Often heard but not seen, some of the common species to look out for are the common froglet, striped marsh frog and growling grass frog. To encourage the frogs to stick around, the Backyard Buddies program of the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife has issued tips on making a pond. “Water is incredibly important for Australia’s wildlife, especially our huge variety of frogs,” foundation CEO Susanna Bradshaw said. “A pond can offer an easy, permanent water source for your local amphibian buddies and will also benefit lots of other native animals too. “Australia is home to over 200 species of frogs that are found nowhere else in the world. Sadly Australia also has one of the highest rates of amphibian extinction in the world. So anything that can be done around Frankston or the Mornington Peninsula to provide habitat for them will be a big help.” Ms Bradshaw said frogs are facing threats from Chytrid fungus, water pollution, drought and predation from introduced pests. “Their numbers haven’t plummeted like this since the extinction of the dinosaurs,” she said. Providing a pond was “the best thing you can do for local frogs”. Ms Bradshaw said the presence of frog indicated a healthy ecosystem “as they are very sensitive to chemicals and environmental degradation” and cautioned against touching frogs as they reacted to sunscreen or insect repellent.
Pond dwellers: Numerous healthy frogs reflect a healthy environment and it is easy to provide them with a backyard home. Picture: Wendy Eiby
“We strongly advise that you do not relocate frogs or tadpoles as you could unintentionally be spreading the deadly Chytrid fungus,” she said. “While not all frogs live around ponds,
they all need a water source to reproduce and keep their porous skin moist.” Ms Bradshaw free apps were available to help identify frogs calls which were made by male frogs trying to at-
tract females. Go to www.backyardbuddies.net.au for step by step directions for making a frog pond. To see frogs in your area see the Atlas of Living Australia.
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Shire invites financial advice BUSINESSES and members of the community have been invited to provide feedback on an economic strategy for the Mornington Peninsula. The shire’s Draft Economic Development Strategy 2016-19 – designed in consultation with the local businesses – outlines key activities aimed at supporting economic, business and employment growth throughout the region. The strategy lists seven primary focus areas which have been identified to help established industries grow and to enhance emerging sectors while supporting business and workforce growth and resilience. Strategic industry sectors, such as tourism, food, health and niche manufacturing, form a key focus of the strategy, as do townships, the Port of Hastings and growth in business and workforce capacity. Within each of these sectors are “signature” projects, with key initiatives designed to support businesses in improving productivity and capability. The primary focus areas and key initiatives were determined in line with a set of guiding principles, resulting in a strategy that builds on economic strengths, is consistent with local values, creates growth opportunities for established and emerging industries, and is evidence-based, shire officers say. The mayor, Cr Graham Pittock, said the strategy aimed to set council priorities to support business growth and increase job opportunities across the peninsula. Details: mornpen.vic.gov.au or call Tania Treasure, 5950 1842.
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Southern Peninsula News 19 January 2016