Assessment of the status of threatened herpetofauna following fire in sub alpine habitat at Lake Mountain and Mount Bullfight, near Marysville, north-east Victoria



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3.1 Lake Mountain

3.1.1 Frog surveys at Lake Mountain


Twelve sites were surveyed for frogs at Lake Mountain. Common Froglets Crinia signifera were detected in high numbers and were present at all surveyed waterbodies (Table 1). Choruses of more than 50 Common Froglets were heard at four sites during the day and night surveys. Other sites recorded greater than 20 and 30 Common Froglets calling at night. High numbers of recently metamorphosed Common Froglets were observed, with 64 juvenile Common Froglets captured at one waterbody alone.

An additional frog species was detected this year at Lake Mountain. Three male Litoria ewingii-complex frogs were calling on Echo Flat between Sites L1 and L4 (Table 1, Figures 10 and 11). Due to difficulties in differentiating similar species from the Litoria ewingii-complex of frogs, these three frogs were not able to be definitively identified to species level. Based on morphological characteristics, including having an undivided dorsal patch between the eyes, relatively large toe pads and coloration on the concealed areas of the flanks and inner surfaces of the thighs, we believe these frogs are either Southern Brown Tree Frogs or Plains Tree Frogs Litoria paraewingi (Barker et al. 1995). Toe pads were sampled from two of these frogs and sent to Museum Victoria to confirm identification by molecular analysis. The call of one frog was recorded but background noise rendered the recording inconclusive for identification purposes.



Table 1. Results of frog surveys conducted at Lake Mountain on 30 November and 22 December 2010.

Location

Common Froglet

Litoria ewingii-complex frogs




Tadpole

Metamorph

Adult

Tadpole

Metamorph

Adult

Site L1 – Echo Flat
















Site L2 – Echo Flat

















Site L3 – Echo Flat

















Site L4 – Echo Flat















Site L5 – Echo Flat

















Site L6 – Echo Flat


















Site L7 – Jubilee Track

















Site L8 – Jubilee Track

















Site L9 – Royston


















Site L10 – Royston


















Site L12 – Echo Flat


















Site L13 – Home Trail
















Figure 10. Litoria ewingii-complex frog from Lake Mountain, 30 November 2010.


Figure 11. Litoria ewingii-complex frogs from Lake Mountain, 22 December 2010 (Gavin Currie).



3.1.2 Lizard surveys at Lake Mountain


Seventy-two skinks were captured during surveys at Lake Mountain in 2010/2011. Of these, 57 were Alpine Bog Skinks (Figure 12). Most Alpine Bog Skinks were located beneath tiles, although a few were located and captured basking close to tiles or on vegetation. Alpine Bog Skinks were recorded at every tile transect on Lake Mountain. Female, male and juvenile Alpine Bog Skinks were amongst those captured. Male Alpine Bog Skinks displayed varying degrees of breeding colouration on their throats, sides and underbellies (Figure 13). Three Southern Water Skinks Eulamprus tympanum tympanum and two Southern Grass Skinks Pseudemoia entrecasteauxii were also captured. Another 10 lizards were recorded that were identified only to genus level (Pseudemoia sp.) as they could not be definitively identified to species level. No Mountain Skinks were recorded at Lake Mountain.

Figure 12. Alpine Bog Skinks captured at Lake Mountain, 3 March 2011.

Figure 13. Variation in male breeding colours in Alpine Bog Skinks captured at Lake Mountain.

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