The Stuttering Frog (Mixophyes balbus) is a large, muscular frog, with a snout-to-vent length of 65 mm in the adult male and 80 mm in the adult female. The dorsal surface is yellow-brown to olive-green and diffuses laterally to merge with a yellow-white ventral surface. A dark stripe runs from the snout through the eye to the tympanum. The hind limbs are characterised by several faint, thin dark bars. The fingers are not webbed while the toes are three-quarters webbed. The Stuttering Frog has large, black eyes with vertical pupils, and adults have a paleblue crescent across the upper half of the eye. This pale-blue crescent, as well as a lack of conspicuous spots or blotches on the side, distinguishes the Stuttering Frog from other Mixophyes species. The male advertisement call is a stuttering, soft grating trill of about 10 pulses lasting one to two seconds. The tadpole is large, reaching 65 to 80 mm in length, with a brown-black body and large black spots and flecks on the tail. The body is dorso-ventrally compressed with narrow caudal fins and a muscular tail. The metamorph resembles the adult, but has less distinct dorsal patterns and a rusty red iris.
Stuttering Frog |
Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Mixophyes balbus
Table 1 Threats impacting Stuttering Frog Threat Status and severity a Evidence Climate change Increased temperatures and Timing current Climate change is expected to increase the change to precipitation Confidence known extinction risk of anuran species over the patterns coming century (Hagger et al. 2013 Pearson Consequence major et al. 2014) and the population size of Trend increasing stream dwelling frogs is predicted to Extent across the entire range decrease with increasing severity of climate change (Tanner McAllister et al. 2018).
Accordingly; catastrophic bushfires are increasingly likely to occur due to climate change.
Mortality associated with Bd erodes the capacity of subpopulations to sustain loss of recruitment associated with drought and reduces resilience to climate change (Scheele et al. 2016).
Additionally; they can survive in areas where temperatures range from 5 to 40 ?§C and rapidly acclimate to various thermal regimes (McCann et al. 2014 Australian Museum 2020).
Understand the potential impacts of climate change on the long term survival of the species; due to altered temperatures; rainfall patterns; bushfires; environmental stressors and diseases.
Fire severity varied across the bushfire extent; with about 19 of the range burning at extreme severity while 37 burnt at lower severity; possibly with small unburnt patches within that fire footprint (Legge et al. 2021).
Fire Survey known subpopulations during the 2020 21 and 2021 22 breeding seasons to monitor impacts from the 2019 2020 bushfires.
Additionally; habitat fragmentation; due to urban development and agricultural land use; can isolate subpopulations and increase their vulnerability to local extinction via stochastic events; such as drought or epidemic disease (OEH 2019).