A new smartphone app which records and identifies frogs could help pinpoint populations of rare species around the Hunter.
More than 30 varieties of frog call the lower Hunter home, including several rare and endangered species, according to Dr Jodi Rowley, reptile and amphibian curator at the Australian Museum Research Institute.
The new app, titled FrogID, identifies frogs in their habitat by recording and matching the calls of males and logging their location.
She hopes the app will help budding frog biologists feed information through to experts such as herself about local populations around the country, particularly in the Hunter.
“It’s a really good part of the world for frogs,” Dr Rowley said of Maitland and the lower Hunter.
She said locals had embraced the new technology with multiple recordings already sent in from the Hunter.
“We’ve already had tons of calls from around Maitland. It’s a good indicator of the health of the wetlands around there,” Dr Rowley said.
The amphibian biologist said the app would be particularly useful in the Hunter with mapping out the population of two threatened species – the green and golden bell frog and the Littlejohns tree frog.
“There’s a lack of knowledge about frogs. Across the country, frog populations are in trouble,” Dr Rowley said. She’s confident the app will help change that.
“It’s about having everyone become a frog biologist,” she said.