Litoria verreauxii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hylidae

Scientific Name: Litoria verreauxii Watson, Loftus-Hills & Littlejohn, 1971
Common Name(s):
English Alpine Tree Frog, Verreaux’s Tree Frog, Whistling Tree Frog
Taxonomic Notes: This species is comprised of two very distinct subspecies, L.v. verreauxii from the coast and ranges and L.v. alpina from the southern Alps.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Jean-Marc Hero, Peter Robertson, Frank Lemckert, Graeme Gillespie, Murray Littlejohn, Peter Robertson, John Clarke
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This is an Australian endemic species. The subspecies L.v. verreaux occurs in eastern Australia, from mid southeast Queensland to the northern Tablelands of New South Wales and the central and southern coast of New South Wales. It is also in the eastern corner of Victoria. The extent of occurrence of the subspecies is approximately 236,400km2. It occurs from near sea level (below 50m asl) to probably at least 800m asl. Museum and field notes indicated that the subspecies L.v. alpina was once widespread and abundant throughout much of the high country of southeast Australia. Recent searches have been conducted for the subspecies at 150 locations, including historical locations, throughout Alpine National Park (Victoria), Kosciuszko National Park (New South Wales), Bimberi Nature Reserve (New South Wales) and Namadgi National Park (Australian Capital Territory). The extent of occurrence of the subspecies is approximately 3,200km2 (map in Osborne et al. 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The subspecies L.v. verreaux is locally abundant, although some declines have been recorded in the Canberra region in the past 20 years. L. v. alpina was once abundant, but is now known only from seven locations in New South Wales with most sites between 1,200m and 1,500m asl. No L. v. alpina were recorded from Baw Baw Plateau, Davies Plain, and Bogong High Plains in Victoria (Hunter and Osborne unpublished data), but several small populations were encountered to the southeast of Mount Hotham and a more extensive population was recorded on the Dargo High Plains, all between 1,300 and 1,600m asl. Surveys at numerous locations in the Bimberi Range (ACT) failed to locate this species and no tadpoles were observed.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The subspecies L.v. verreaux is common in a wide variety of habitats including coastal swamps and lagoons, wet and dry sclerophyll forest. It is most often associated with permanent water, ie. ponds, dams, lakes, creeks and waterholes. It calls year round. Males call from ground up to several metres from water or on vegetation near water. About 500-1,000 eggs are laid in jelly clumps attached to submerged vegetation in ponds. L.v. alpina occurs mainly in woodland, heath, grassland and herb field at montane, sub alpine and alpine altitudes (Gillespie et al. 1995). Breeding populations occur on plains or open valleys where there are stream side pools, fens and bogs (Gillespie et al. 1995) but are also be associated with artificial waterbodies such as small dams and reservoirs (e.g. four of the seven extant populations of L. v. alpina located in Kosciuszko NP) (Osborne et al. 1999). During the non-breeding season, individuals may be found amongst litter, under logs, beneath flat stones in streambeds or in rocky areas near streams (Gillespie et al. 1995). Calling occurs from late winter to early summer (Hero et al. 1991). An average of 328 eggs (Hero unpublished) are laid in pools around submerged vegetation in large jelly-like clumps (Gillespie et al. 1995). Free-swimming larvae hatch within a few days and complete development in pools (Osborne et al. 1999). Tadpoles have been recorded from Nov. to Jan. and metamorphosis from Dec. to Jan (Hunter et al. 1998).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The nominal subspecies, L. v. verreauxii, is threatened by drought and loss of habitat. L. v. alpina is one of a number of Australian alpine amphibians, including, Pseudophryne corroboree, P. pengilleyi and Philoria frosti, which have experienced pronounced population declines for unknown reasons (Osborne et al. 1999). There is no single aspect of the field biology of these species, which stands out as a feature in common, that might help explain the declines (Osborne et al. 1999). Pseudophryne pengilleyi is still widespread and abundant at lower altitudes, but there are few remaining substantial populations of the other three species (Osborne et al. 1999). Osborne et al. (1999) reviewed some of the possible factors contributing to population declines at high altitudes including long term weather patterns and pathogens such as the chytrid fungus (Berger et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of L. v. verreaux includes several protected areas. L. v. alpina is listed as endangered; therefore, it is protected by State and National legislation. Most of its habitat is within National Parks.

Citation: Jean-Marc Hero, Peter Robertson, Frank Lemckert, Graeme Gillespie, Murray Littlejohn, Peter Robertson, John Clarke. 2004. Litoria verreauxii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T12155A3328276. . Downloaded on 20 November 2017.
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