New app to identify frog species at risk

November 14, 2017

Take part. . .The Australian Museum has designed an app to identify local frog populations.

A new app has been created to identify local frog populations and undertake a national frog count in a bid to help save threatened species.

The Australian Museum’s FrogID utilises mobile phone technology and ‘‘audio DNA’’ to discover where frogs are at risk and how to conserve them and the waterways they live in.

The free app, developed in partnership with IBM, identifies frog species by the sounds they make — from croaks and chirps to whistles and barks.

Recording and uploading these calls will help to map frog species across Australia and reveal where they are at risk from habitat loss, disease, climate change and urbanisation.

‘‘Frogs are a tipping point in the environment,’’ leading frog expert Dr Jodi Rowley said.

‘‘The loss of frogs is also likely to have huge pest management implications for our agricultural production and wellbeing, as they help control insect populations such as mosquitoes. If they disappear, entire ecosystems may be at risk,’’ she said.

“FrogID will allow us to make informed conservation decisions aimed at saving our frogs.

‘‘But we need the public to play their part, so we can understand our many frog species across this vast country,’’ Dr Rowley said.

‘‘By taking part in FrogID, you’re actively helping to save Australia’s frogs — you might even discover a new species.’’

■The app can be downloaded for free on the Google Play store and Apple’s App Store. For more information visit:

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