Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Recovery Plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the wet tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland 2000 - 2004 (Northern Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (NQTFRT), 2001) [Recovery Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation, Habitat Degradation, Competition and Disease Transmission by Feral Pigs (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage (AGDEH), 2005p) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis (Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006o) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Critically Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Taudactylus acutirostris [1911]
Family Myobatrachidae:Anura:Amphibia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Andersson,1916)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images
http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/tbiol/zoology/herp/mwt/acut.html

Scientific name: Taudactylus acutirostris

Common name: Sharp-snouted Day Frog

Other names: Sharp-nosed Torrent Frog; Tinker Frog

The Sharp-snouted Day Frog is a rich-coloured olive-brown frog growing up to 30 mm in length with scattered paler flecks and one or two V or W shaped markings on the back. There is a broad black band running from the snout along the side of the head to the groin, bordered above by a thin light stripe. The groin and undersides of the arms and legs are yellow. The legs are the same colour as the back (olive-brown) with dark cross-bars. There is also a distinctive white patch, edged with black, at the base of each forelimb. The belly is smooth, grey-white in colour with black flecks and the lower jaw is edged with black. The snout is pointed and sticks out beyond the lower jaw. The toes have no webbing (Cogger 2000).

Previously, the Sharp-snouted Day Frog was widely distributed from Mt Graham, near Cardwell, to the Big Tableland, approximately 30 km south of Cooktown in northern Queensland. The species occurred at altitudes of 300 to 1300 m (McDonald 1992). The extent of occurrence of the species was less than 9000 km² (Hero et al. 2002). The Sharp-snouted Day Frog was a conspicuous inhabitant of upland rainforest streams because of its diurnal habits and former abundance. The species started disappearing in the southern part of its range in 1988 and had disappeared from south of the Daintree River by 1992 (Richards et al. 1993).

The Sharp-snouted Day Frog was formerly known from Lumholtz, Wooroonooran, Daintree, Crater, Cedar Bay and Tully Falls National Parks, as well as Timber Reserve, Lamb Range, Malbon Thompson Range, Herberton Range, Ravenshoe, Kirrama Range, Mt Fisher, Maalan, Mt Lewis, and Windsor State Forest (Tyler 1997).

In the past, the Sharp-snouted Day Frog was considered locally abundant, and in 1989 48 calling males were recorded along an undisclosed 100 m stream transect. When surveys of the site were undertaken in 1990, only one adult and several tadpoles were located (Richards et al. 1993). The decline of this species is well documented. From 1988 to 1993, it disappeared from an area spanning about 2 degrees latitude (Ingram & McDonald 1993).

There is some discrepancy in the literature concerning the number of sightings of the frog during the last years of its decline. Reported sightings from 1994 and after are as follows:

  • a single individual at Slaty Creek in 1994 (L. Roberts pers. comm., cited in NQTFRT 2001)
  • an unspecified low number of tadpoles found in 1994 (McDonald & Martin unpubl. data, cited in NQTFRT 2001)
  • a sub-adult at Big Tableland in January 1995 (McDonald unpubl., cited in NQTFRT 2001)
  • a single frog near Millaa Millaa, in a small tributary of the South Johnstone River, in November 1996 (Marshall 1998, cited in Schloegel et al. 2006)
  • a gravid female seen near Mt Hartley in 1997 (Hero et al. 1998, cited in Schloegel et al. 2006).

  • The Sharp-snouted Day Frog was a habitat specialist, endemic to montane forests in the Wet Tropics Bioregion (Williams & Hero 1998, 2001). The species occurred along small mountain streams in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest above 300 m altitude (Liem & Hosmer 1973). The species was seen on rocks during the day near swift-flowing streams or in the rainforest leaf litter during wet weather (McDonald 1992). In wet weather they may be found some distance from the water (K. McDonald pers. obs., cited in NQTFRT 2001).

    The tadpoles are bottom dwelling, normally inhabiting debris in pools or slow flowing areas of rainforest streams (McDonald & Alford 1999; K.R. McDonald pers. obs., cited in NQTFRT 2001).

    Males call from exposed positions on rocks, sand or gravel banks at the waters edge, or from beneath rocks or leaves (Ingram 1980; McDonald 1992; K. McDonald pers. obs., cited in NQTFRT 2001). Males call during the day, from first light to early evening, and have been recorded calling all year round. Males appear to establish territories, possibly as a response to seemingly low numbers of females (Dennis 1982). The male has two types of calls: a high pitched metallic "tink tink tink", repeated several times in quick succession (Dennis 1982; Liem & Hosmer 1973; Richards et al. 1993) and a high-pulsed "eek eek eek", described as a popping sound or a short scratchy chirp (Ingram 1980; McDonald 1992; Richards et al. 1993).

    Breeding has been observed from late November through to January. Eggs are laid as a gelatinous clump of about 25–40 eggs (2.2–2.7 mm diameter) on the undersides of rocks, at or below the waterline in flowing creeks. The tadpoles are small and dark in colour with an oval body. They have large rounded mouths that they use to hang onto rocks in flowing streams (Liem & Hosmer 1973; Richards 1993).

    The Sharp-snouted Day Frog has been seen basking on rocks beside streams and also foraging along the sides of creeks and nearby forest floor (Ingram 1980). When disturbed they will leap into the water, and lie on the substrate for some minutes before resurfacing (Ingram 1980). Individuals have also been found long distances away from water during wet weather (Hero & Fickling 1994).

    The Sharp-snouted Day Frog is easily distinguished from other frog species by its pointed snout and the contrasting colours of its back and sides, separated by the pale fold.

    The most commonly used techniques for sampling frog populations include visual encounter surveys, acoustic sampling (including audio strip transects and static call sampling), night driving, pitfall trapping, and larval sampling (AERG 2003). The Sharp-snouted Day Frog has been surveyed by visual and acoustic sampling. Systematic comparisons of the effectiveness of different sampling techniques have rarely been carried out (see Holloway 1997; Parris 1999).

    The cause(s) of the the Sharp-snouted Day Frog's decline remains unknown. Richards and colleagues (1993) found no obvious evidence that drought, floods, habitat destruction or pollution by pesticides, inorganic ions or heavy metals were responsible for the population declines. Big Tableland, the area where the Sharp-snouted Day Frog was at its highest density in 1991–1992, has been mined since 1887 and logging ceased in that area in 1963 (Richards et al. 1993). There has been repeated speculation that UV-B light may have caused declines, but UV impact has been discounted in the tropics (McDonald & Alford 1999). Current research is examining the possibility that disease, such as a viral infection or chytrid fungus, may have caused the decline of this species (Berger et al. 1999), and there is considerable circumstantial evidence to support this hypothesis (NQTFRT 2001). Chytrid fungus has been identified on specimens of this species from the Carbine Tableland and Big Tableland (Speare & Berger 2000). Information on disease investigations and management can be located at the Amphibian Diseases Research Group's (2008) amphibian diseases page.

    Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a potential cause of riparian habitat damage and adult frog mortality. The activity of feral pigs has been recorded to have increased over the period 1989–1992 in an area previously inhabited by the Sharp-snouted Day Frog. There is very little research, however, into the impact of feral pigs on native frog populations (Richards et al. 1993).

    The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

    Threat Class Threatening Species References
    Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat loss and modification due to clearance of native vegetation and pasture improvements The Impact of Global Warming on the Distribution of Threatened Vertebrates (ANZECC 1991) (Dexter, E.M., A.D. Chapman & J.R. Busby, 1995) [Report].
    Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Declines in populations of Australia's endemic tropical rainforest frogs. Pacific Conservation Biology. 1:66-77. (Richards, S.J., K.R. McDonald & R.A. Alford, 1993) [Journal].
    Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Declines in populations of Australia's endemic tropical rainforest frogs. Pacific Conservation Biology. 1:66-77. (Richards, S.J., K.R. McDonald & R.A. Alford, 1993) [Journal].
    Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Sus scrofa (Pig) Declines in populations of Australia's endemic tropical rainforest frogs. Pacific Conservation Biology. 1:66-77. (Richards, S.J., K.R. McDonald & R.A. Alford, 1993) [Journal].
    Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Chytrid fungi and amphibian declines: overview, implications and future directions. In: Campbell, A., ed. Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. Page(s) 23-33. (Berger, L., R. Speare & A. Hyatt, 1999) [Book].
    Recovery Plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the wet tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland 2000 - 2004 (Northern Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (NQTFRT), 2001) [Recovery Plan].
    Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery Plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the wet tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland 2000 - 2004 (Northern Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (NQTFRT), 2001) [Recovery Plan].
    Transportation and Service Corridors:Utility and Service Lines:Powerline easement maintenance and construction; mortality due to collision with powerlines Recovery Plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the wet tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland 2000 - 2004 (Northern Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (NQTFRT), 2001) [Recovery Plan].
    Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Recovery Plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the wet tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland 2000 - 2004 (Northern Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (NQTFRT), 2001) [Recovery Plan].

    Amphibian Diseases Research Group (2008). Amphibian Diseases. [Online]. James Cook University. Available from: http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PHTM/frogs/ampdis.htm.

    Berger, L., R. Speare & A. Hyatt (1999). Chytrid fungi and amphibian declines: overview, implications and future directions. In: Campbell, A., ed. Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. Page(s) 23-33. [Online]. Canberra: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/frogs.html.

    Cogger, H.G. (2000). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia - 6th edition. Sydney, NSW: Reed New Holland.

    Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) (2006o). Threat Abatement Plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/chytrid.html.

    Dennis, A. (1982). A brief study of the Sharp-snouted Torrent Frog Taudactylus acutirostris. North Queensland Naturalist. 50:7-8.

    Hero, J-M., H.B. Hines, E. Meyer, C. Morrison & C. Streatfeild (2002). New records of "declining" frogs in Queensland (April 1999). In: R. Nattrass, ed. Frogs in the Community - Proceedings of the Brisbane Conference 13 - 14 February 1999. Qld Museum.

    Hero, J.-M & S. Fickling (1994). A Guide to the Stream-Dwelling Frogs of the Wet Tropics Rainforests. North Queensland: James Cook University.

    Holloway, S.E. (1997). Survey protocols for the streambreeding frogs of far East Gippsland: the implication of habitat modelling and an assessment of techniques. Unpublished M. Sc.Thesis. Canberra: University of Canberra.

    Ingram, G. (1980). A new frog of the genus Taudactylus (Myobatrachidae) from mid-eastern Queenlsand with notes on the other species of the genus. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 20:111-119.

    Ingram, G.J. & K.R. McDonald (1993). An update on the decline of Queenslands frogs. In: Lunney, D. & D. Ayers, eds. Herpetology in Australia: a diverse discipline. Page(s) 297-303. Sydney, NSW: Royal Zoological Society of NSW.

    Liem, D.S. & W. Hosmer (1973). Frogs of the genus Taudactylus with description of two new species (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 16:435-457.

    McDonald, K. & R. Alford (1999). A review of declining frogs in northern Queensland. In: A. Campbell, ed. Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. Page(s) 14-22. Canberra: Environment Australia.

    McDonald, K.R. (1992). Distribution patterns and conservation status of north Queensland rainforest frogs. Conservation Technical Report 1. Brisbane: Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.

    Northern Queensland Threatened Frogs Recovery Team (NQTFRT) (2001). Recovery Plan for the stream-dwelling rainforest frogs of the wet tropics biogeographic region of north-east Queensland 2000 - 2004. [Online]. QPWS. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/rainforest-frogs/index.html.

    Parris, K.M. (1999). Amphibian surveys in forests and woodlands. Contemporary Herpetology. 1. [Online]. Published online. Available from: http://www.contemporaryherpetology.org/ch/1999/1/index.htm.

    Richards, S.J., K.R. McDonald & R.A. Alford (1993). Declines in populations of Australia's endemic tropical rainforest frogs. Pacific Conservation Biology. 1:66-77.

    Schloegel, L.M., J-M. Hero, L. Berger, R. Speare, K. McDonald & P. Daszak (2006). The decline of the Sharp-snouted Day Frog (Taudactylus acutirostris): the first documented case of extinction by infection in a free-ranging wildlife species?. EcoHealth. 3:35-40.

    Speare, R & L. Berger (2000). Chytridiomycosis in amphibians in Australia. [Online]. Townsville, Queensland: Rainforest CRC & School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, James Cook University. Available from: http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PHTM/frogs/chyspec.htm.

    Tyler, M.J. (1997). The Action Plan for Australian Frogs. [Online]. Wildlife Australia. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/action/frogs/index.html.

    Williams, S.E. & J-M. Hero (1998). Rainforest frogs of the Australian Wet Tropics: guild classification and the ecological similarity of declining species. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 265:597-602.

    Williams, S.E. & J-M. Hero (2001). Multiple Determinants of Australian Tropical Frog Biodiversity. Biological Conservation. 98:1-10.

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    This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

    Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Taudactylus acutirostris in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 26 Jul 2014 21:15:54 +1000.