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Gregory J. Hollis
Environment Australia, October 1997
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2. Recovery Objectives and Criteria
To achieve down-listing of the species from endangered within 10 years based on the IUCN (1994) criteria of population size and trends, extent of occurrence, and probability of extinction.
- to secure the species from the threat of extinction by:
- ensuring long-term survival of a genetically viable population across its geographic range,
- increasing the population to a level predicted by PVA analyses to be adequate for long-term viability.
- to increase the population such that the species is no longer critically endangered,
- to gain an understanding of those aspects of the biology and ecology of the species which will enable effective management of the population,
- to determine reasons for observed decline across the species geographic range,
- to address threatening processes and change or implement management practices where appropriate,
- to ensure that landuse activities will not impinge upon the survival of the species.
2.2 Recovery Criteria
- secure population by:
- monitoring population numbers and trends, distribution and habitat characteristics over 5 years using rigorous experimental design,
- until optimal population levels are determined by PVA analyses, an interim target is to increase numbers of calling males to twice the population estimates (400-600) obtained during recent surveys on the plateau, by 2002,
- knowledge of those aspects of population dynamics and demographics necessary to understand the population decline, i.e.:
- understand extent of habitat use below 1300 m a.s.l., by end of 1997,
- understand longevity and age structure of population, as determined by skeletochronology by end of 1998,
- detailed knowledge of breeding habitat, by end of 1998,
- knowledge of diet by end of 1998,
- knowledge of movement by end of 1998,
- knowledge of reproductive success and recruitment to post-larval stages, by end of 2000,
- complete PVA analysis by 2002,
- identification of factors responsible for the decline in the species, and of the relative contribution of various environmental and anthropogenic threats, in particular:
- knowledge of past climate patterns, by end of 1998, and of potential effects of these patterns on population levels,
- knowledge of the extent of predation by introduced predators, by end of 1999,
- knowledge of susceptibility of the Baw Baw Frog to UV radiation, of likely exposure levels, and of probable effects on the population, by end of 2000,
- knowledge of extent of disturbance to habitat by various anthropogenic factors including introduced herbivores, introduced weeds, changed drainage patterns, track network, alpine village development, and recreational disturbance, by end of 1999, and of the effects of these habitat disturbances on the frog population, by 2002,
- knowledge of any contribution of pathogens to the decline.
- determine husbandry methodology for larvae and metamorphlings, and implement a trial field release, by end of 1998,
- implement a management strategy to protect and maintain the current extent and integrity of the species habitat by reducing levels of threats identified as potentially responsible for the decline, by 2002, including initially:
- community information brochures and interpretation signs available, by end of 1998,
- campfire prohibition (and ash removal) implemented, by 1998,
- cattle eradicated from the plateau, by end of 2000,
- Salix controlled, by 2002,
- weed control from alpine village area implemented immediately, and continuing,
- track maintenance, particularly of board-walks, and relocation of tracks away from sensitive areas immediately, and continuing,
- efficient and effective coordination and supervision of research and management actions.