Kroombit Tinker Frog
Distribution and Habitat
The distribution of Taudactylus pleione is extremely restricted and is confined to twelve small (up to 25 ha) unconnected patches of rainforest (totalling about 200 ha) above 500 m at Kroombit Tops, s.w. of Gladstone (Clarke et al. 1999; J. Clarke pers. comm.). It is believed that T. pleione is a relict species, restricted to Kroombit Tops through habitat fragmentation that disrupted rainforest connections between s. and n.e. Qld (Czechura 1986a). Within the rainforest patches, populations of T. pleione are clumped around drainage lines and seepage areas (J. Clarke pers. comm.). The extent of occurrence is estimated to be 700 ha and the area of occupancy is estimated to be 120 ha (J. Clarke pers. comm). Surveys in February 1997 and regular surveys since 1998 have greatly expanded the known distribution of the species bringing the total number of known populations to 12; 9 in Kroombit Tops NP and 3 in Kroombit Tops SF (Clarke et al. 1999; J. Clarke pers. comm.). All potential sites on the Kroombit Tableland and escarpment have been searched at least once during the calling season although additional potential habitat for the species exists on the Dawes Range and Mt Roberts (M. Cunningham pers. comm.). The only regularly monitored population, in the head of Kroombit Ck, appears to have declined (Hines et al. 1999). The species was regularly encountered at this site prior to 1997 but T. pleione was not heard or seen at this site during the 1997/98 season despite systematic monitoring (Clarke et al. 1999). Data from recent annual searches also indicate a decline in numbers of T. pleione on Kroombit Plateau (E. Meyer pers. comm.). During 1997/98 little other monitoring work was undertaken in the area but the species was heard calling at three recently discovered sites (Hines et al. 1999). Estimates of population size are highly conjectural with no more than 13 individuals being recorded from one site at any one time, and only three females have ever been recorded (J. Clarke pers. comm.). No information is available on population structure or genetic variation (Hines et al. 1999)
Known from Kroombit Tops NP and Kroombit Tops SF Scientific Area No. 48 (Clarke et al. 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Four species of Taudactylus from similar habitat elsewhere in Qld have also declined dramatically or disappeared due to unknown causes (eg. Ingram & McDonald 1993). In May 1998, several dead L. pearsoniana were found at Kroombit Tops (Hines and Clarke unpubl. data). Chytrid fungus, a disease found by Berger et al. (1998) to be associated with frog deaths and declines elsewhere in Australia and Central America, was isolated from these animals (Berger unpubl. data). This, in conjunction with the apparent decline of T. pleione at the monitoring site has heightened concern for this species.
Berger, L., Speare, R., Daszak, P., Green, D. E., Cunningham, A. A., Goggin, C. L., Slocombe, R., Ragan, M. A., Hyatt, A. D., McDonald, K. R., Hines, H. B., Lips, K. R., Marantelli, G., and Parkes, H. (1998). "Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(15), 9031-9036.
Borsboom, A., Clarke, J. and Cunningham, M. (1998). Draft Recovery Plan for the Kroombit Tinker Frog Taudactylus pleione 1997-2001. Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Queensland Department of Environment, May 1998.
Clarke, J.M., Borsboom, A.C., Cunningham, M., and Hines, H. (1999). ''The recovery process for the Kroombit Tinkerfrog, Taudactylus pleione.'' Rainforest Recovery for the New Millennium. B.R. Boyes, eds., World Wildlife Fund for Nature 1998 South-east Queensland Rainforest Recovery Conference, WWF, Sydney, 109-123.
Czechura, G.V. (1986). ''A new species of Taudactylus (Myobatrachidae) from southeastern Queensland, Australia.'' Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 22(2), 299-307.
Czechura, G.V. (1986). ''Kroombit Tops torrent frog Taudactylus pleione, with a key to the species of Taudactylus.'' Queensland Naturalist, 27, 68-71.
Hines, H., Mahony, M. and McDonald, K. (1999). ''An assessment of frog declines in wet subtropical Australia.'' Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. A. Campbell, eds., Environment Australia, Canberra, 44-63.
Ingram, G. J., and McDonald, K. R. (1993). ''An update on the decline of Queensland's frogs.'' Herpetology in Australia: A diverse discipline. D. Lunney and D. Ayers, eds., Transactions of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, 297-303.
Meyer, E., Hines, H., and Hero, J.-M. (2001). ''Kroombit Tinker-Frog, Taudactylus pleione.'' Wet Forest Frogs of South-east Queensland. Griffith University, Gold Coast, 38-39.
Written by J-M. Hero; J. Clarke; E. Meyer; M. Cunningham; H. Hines; L. (m.hero AT mailbox.gu.edu.au), Griffith University
First submitted 2002-04-05
Edited by Ambika Sopory, Jean-Marc Hero (2008-09-17)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Taudactylus pleione: Kroombit Tinker Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/3600> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 3, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 3 Jul 2020.
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