Tinkling Frog  |  

Taudactylus rheophilus

Status: Critically Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The Tinkling Frog is a small frog growing to 30 mm. The dorsal surface is smooth or finely granular, and may be grey to brown, reddish or dark brown in colour, with irregular darker markings. A narrow pale greyish streak runs from the eye to the groin, bordered below by a broad black band whose lower edge breaks up into a marbled or reticulate pattern on the flanks. There is a faint, pale transverse bar between the eyes, and a pale glandular patch runs from the angle of the jaws to the base of the forearm. The loreal region is black with some irregular grey markings. The ventral surface is smooth, brown in colour, with conspicuous, irregular, creamy-white markings. The limbs have irregular blackish cross bands, and the digits are barred with dark brown and creamy grey. The tips of the digits have small but conspicuous discs, the toes are fringed but lack webbing. The call of the Tinkling Frog has been variously described as a soft metallic tapping sound, ‘tink tink tink’ repeated four to five times in quick succession, or a gentle rattling sound. The tadpole has not been described.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Taudactylus rheophilus

    Despite this protection; habitat loss is still a major threat through climate change and (to a lesser degree) invasive species; including rooting and wallowing by feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and the encroachment of weeds.
    Climate Change Loss of habitat Status current Climate change is expected to cause a pronounced increase in extinction risk for frog species over the coming century (Hagger et al.
    Climate projections for the Wet Tropics Consequence severe include increased average temperature; possible decrease in annual Trend increasing average rainfall but with an increase in days of extreme rainfall; and Extent across the more intense tropical cyclones (WTMA 2014 CSIRO Bureau of entire range Meteorology 2015).
    The wet montane forest of the Wet Tropics (and its fauna) is particularly vulnerable to climate change.
    Under possible climate change scenarios; the extent of upland rainforest is predicted to shrink significantly and wet montane forest may disappear altogether (Williams et al. 2003 WTMA 2014).
    Under this climate change scenario; bioclimatic models predict the extinction of many Wet Tropic frog species.
    These bushfires were associated with a severe drought; which had already depleted much of the surface and ground water; and conditions that promote bushfires are predicted to occur more frequently as climate change intensifies (see climate change section; above).
    The threat from climate change is likely to result in a contraction in habitat; with wet montane forest of the Wet Tropics projected to decrease by 50 percent with a 1 C increase in temperature (Hilbert et al. 2001 Preston Jones 2006).
    Under more severe climate change scenarios (3.5 C increase in temperature); all endemic vertebrates would disappear from low and mid elevation ranges; as well as from high elevation ranges at all known historical Tinkling Frog sites (Williams et al. 2003).
    A continued decline is inferred to any remnant population from the ongoing impacts of Bd and a predicted decline in AOO from habitat loss modelled from climate change scenarios (see threats; Table 1).
    The recovery of burnt; fire sensitive communities; such as wet montane forest; is likely to take decades to centuries (Hines 2020).
    Trend unknown Invasive weeds increase the susceptibility of the rainforest to bushfires Extent unknown (Hines 2020) (see bushfire section; above); and can encroach into the riparian zone; causing sediment to build up and fill crevices and interstitial spaces in stream substrates; thereby reducing the availability of suitable oviposition sites or refugia for tadpoles (Welsh Ollivier 1998).