27 Oct 2020
Frogidors or frog movement corridors make it easier and safer for frogs to move through the landscape. These corridors require maintenance from time to time and a team from Conservation Volunteers Australia hopped in to help out.
Sydney Olympic Park supports a priority population of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog and has a long term habitat management program for this species. As one of the bell frog survival strategies is to move large distances, usually under warm wet conditions, to find suitable breeding and foraging habitat, the condition of frogidors are visually assessed each year as part of the site-wide annual frog habitat inspection.
Frogidors link key breeding and activity sites such as stormwater ponds and wetlands, important to maintain a healthy population of bell frogs. The corridors consist of dense plantings of tussock forming grasses and sedges that form a protective cover for frogs to move between areas. Fragmentation of habitat by pathways, open areas of turf or roads can be serious disruptions to animal movement. Connecting patches of habitat allows crucial ecological processes such as gene flow through dispersal between populations.
A wide range of other species also benefit from the grassland vegetation of frogidors. The corridors are open and sunny, fantastic for many invertebrates which become prey for frogs, lizards and birds. The grasses seed; providing important food for finches and other small woodland birds. Specialist grassland species such as the Golden-headed Cisticola, Brown Quail and Black-winged Kite can be found taking advantage of frogidors.
The Environment Team at Sydney Olympic Park partnered with Conservation Volunteers Australia to improve one frogidor at Kronos Hill. The project aims to improve the resilience and size of the corridor and was funded through the Office of Fiona Martin MP under the Australian Government’s Communities Environment Program. Ten awesome volunteers and three staff cleared weeds from more than half a hectare of land and planted 2000 native tussock forming grasses. As the plantings mature, the frogidor will provide shelter and food resources to assist Green and Golden Bell Frogs to move between ponds safely.
A large female Green and Golden Bell Frog needs to move safely between breeding ponds © Jen O’Meara
Conservation Volunteers Australia staff and volunteers hard at work