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 Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans 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].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey Guidelines for Australia's Threatened Frogs. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.3 (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2010h) [Admin Guideline].
 
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 Vulnerable (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Pseudophryne covacevichae [64385]
Family Myobatrachidae:Anura:Amphibia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Ingram and Corben, 1994
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Pseudophryne covacevichae

Common name: Magnificent Brood Frog

The Magnificent Brood Frog is has a snout-vent length between 24 and 28 mm. It is distinguished from other members of the genus by a bright rufous, rusty brown or yellow triangular patch from the upper snout to the forehead. This colouration continues along the back and is usually bordered by diffuse dark patches. The sides and forearms of the frog are uneven grey, peppered with white and dark spots. The upper arms are bright yellow. The cloaca is surrounded by a bright yellow patch or line. The ventral surface of the frog is strikingly marbled with black and white. The skin sometimes possesses scattered tubercles above, but is smooth below (Cogger 2000; Ingram & Corben 1994).

The advertisement call is a short, squelch-like 'ark' repeated at irregular intervals although males will also give rapid chirping calls when disturbed (McDonald, unpubl. data).

The tadpole is quite distinctive, appearing generally black with dark pigmentation on the upper fin and on the distal third of the lower fin. At the stage when limbs develop on the tadpole, a distinct pale patch forms where the tail meets the body. This darkens to a light yellow as the tail is resorbed (McDonald, unpubl. data). Magnificent Brood metamorphs can be distinguished from other species by the distinctive pale yellow marking above the cloaca and cream-coloured upper arms (McDonald et al. 2000).

The Magnificent Brood Frog is known from a small area near Ravenshoe, north Queensland where it has been found at 22 discrete sites with 36 populations. All records of the species have been from above 800 m altitude (McDonald et al. 2000).

Specifically, the species is known from Timber Reserve 245, State Forest 754, 488 and 251, Millstream National Park and Ravenshoe rubbish dump reserve, road reserves and freehold land (Ingram & Corben 1994; McDonald et al. 2000).

The Magnificent Brood Frog has a limited extent of occurrence, approximately 250 km².

The area of occupancy for the Magnificent Brood Frog is less than 50 ha (McDonald et al. 2000).

Limited information is available on the population size of the Magnificent Brood Frog. However, known populations cover small areas (largest being approximately 0.5 ha, but most less than 0.1 ha) and the number of calling males at each site ranges from one to 20 (McDonald et al. 2000).

The Magnificent Brood Frog appears to be restricted to specific habitats with all records being from the rhyolites of the Glen Gorden Volcanics. The species has been found around seepage areas in open eucalypt forests with an understorey comprised of Themeda triandra, Xanthorrhoea sp., Gahnia sp., Lophostemon suaveolens, Allocasuarina littoralis and A. torulosa. In areas where cattle grazing has reduced ground cover the species has also been located in leaf-litter build up in first order streams (McDonald et al. 2000). The non breeding habitat for this species is unknown.

Approximately six to 82 eggs are laid on moist soil in or near a seepage, usually under vegetation. Observations suggest that the development of eggs pauses prior to hatching. After hatching, the tadpole makes its way down the seepage or is washed into first order streams where development continues in small pools (McDonald et al. 2000).

The diet of the Magnificent Brood Frog is unknown but is likely to consist of small ground-dwelling arthropods (McDonald et al. 2000).

The method that has successfully been used in the past to survey the Magnificent Brood Frog is call survey (UC 2003).

Call surveys should be conducted during the known calling period of the Magnificent Brood Frog, between December and May (McDonald et al. 2000). The Magnificent Brood Frog generally calls from seepage areas at the base of grass tussocks on wet summer and autumn nights. It is primarily nocturnal but may also call on overcast days (McDonald et al. 2000). The call is very similar to the winter breeding Pseudophryne major, from southern and central Queensland (Ingram & Corben 1994).

Habitat loss and degradation appear to be the greatest threats to the Magnificent Brood Frog. The species habitat occurs on land under a variety of tenures, including National Parks, State Forests, local government reserves, grazing leasehold properties, crown land, freehold lands and road reserves. Ninety-seven percent of frog sites are located on unprotected land, most of which is in state forest or timber reserve. There are several activities likely to occur on these lands which may impact on the amount and quality of the frog's habitat, including grazing, logging, road works, clearing and development. Habitat in the south-east of Timber Reserve 245 and Tumoulin State Forest has been severely affected by cattle grazing. Grazing and trampling has the potential to degrade and destroy the seepage areas used by the frogs for breeding (McDonald et al. 2000).

Similarly, erosion and subsequent siltation may cover seepage areas if future logging or clearing occurs. Roads and cuttings can alter the water quality and hydrology and may affect seepage areas and first order streams. Regrowth forest uses more water than old growth and therefore has the potential to reduce seepages. The population at the Ravenshoe rubbish dump has declined. Dump activities have destroyed or modified habitat, and previously known populations are now absent (McDonald et al. 2000).

Chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease affecting amphibians worldwide. The disease has been recorded in four regions of Australia, namely the east coast, south-west Western Australia, Adelaide, and more recently Tasmania. This highly virulent fungal pathogen of amphibians is capable at the minimum of causing sporadic deaths in some populations, and 100 per cent mortality in other populations (DEH 2006).

The Recovery Plan for the Magnificent Brood Frog (Pseudophryne covacevichae) 2000-2004 aims to improve the status of the Magnificent Brood Frog by surveying for new populations, implementing management and site protection for at least 50 percent of sites within five years (McDonald 2000).

Specific objectives of the conservation effort are (McDonald 2000):

  • To identify land uses and practices which may impact on habitat quality,

  • To identify and protect the known sites at greatest risk of degradation,

  • To design simple and effective guidelines and protective measures for populations which can be implemented by land managers and users,

  • To obtain hydrological and ecological information about the species,

  • To support further efforts to locate new populations based on the frog's habitat preference,

  • To engage local governments and community groups interested in conservation, and

  • To involve interested community groups in locating and monitoring populations and in their management.

The Recovery Plan for the Magnificent Brood Frog (Pseudophryne covacevichae) 2000-2004 has been prepared to guide recovery actions and objectives for this species (McDonald et al. 2000).

The Department of the Environment and Heritage has developed a threat abatement plan which aims to :

  • Prevent amphibian populations or regions that are currently chytridiomycosis-free from becoming infected by preventing further spread of the amphibian chytrid within Australia,
  • Decrease the impact of infection with the amphibian chytrid fungus on populations that are currently infected.

The Threat Abatement Plan for infection of amphibians with chytrid fungus resulting in chytridiomycosis can be found at http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/chytrid/index.html

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:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Biological Resource Use:Logging and Wood Harvesting:Habitat loss, modification and degradation due to timber harvesting Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, grazing, predation and/or habitat degradation by rats Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Pollution:Garbage and Solid Waste:Dumping of household and industrial waste Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Protected status:Protected status:Lack of secure conservation land tenure Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Housing and Urban Areas:Habitat loss, modification and fragmentation due to urban development Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Residential and Commercial Development:Residential and Commercial Development:Habitat modification (clearance and degradation) due to urban development Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].
Transportation and Service Corridors:Roads and Railroads:Development and/or maintenance of roads Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004 (McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter, 2000) [Recovery Plan].

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.

Ingram, G.J. & C.J. Corben (1994). Two new species of broodfrogs (Pseudophryne) from Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 37:267-272.

McDonald, K.R., E. Bolitho, A. Dennis, N. Simpson & J.W. Winter (2000). Recovery Plan for the magnificent broodfrog Pseudophryne covacevichae 2000-2004. [Online]. Unpublished report to Environment Australia. Brisbane QPWS. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/magnificent-broodfrog/index.html.

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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). Pseudophryne covacevichae in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Mon, 22 Sep 2014 02:37:56 +1000.