Thesis: Improving conservation outcomes for the Critically Endangered white-bellied frog Geocrinia alba (Anura: Myobatrachidae): an isolated declining endemic.
My research is focused on the conservation of a Critically Endangered frog species, the white-bellied frog (Geocrinia alba), endemic to southwest WA, which is currently undergoing severe declines. My research will investigate the main factors contributing to the decline of white-bellied frogs by examining patterns of persistence and extinction as well as studying the specific habitat and hydrological requirements of the species. The project aims to provide practical management outcomes for the species such as improving translocation success through identifying key habitat needs and optimising site selection.
Why my research is important
Amphibians are one of the most threatened faunal groups in the present global biodiversity crisis. Currently over a third of the worlds amphibians are threatened with extinction and populations are declining at unprecedented rates. Whilst the declines are well documented, the causes behind these widespread trends are not clearly understood and nearly half of threatened amphibian species are becoming extinct due to unidentified processes.
The white-bellied frog (Geocrinia alba) is a Critically Endangered frog species currently restricted to a few square kilometres of remaining viable habitat in the Margaret River region in southwest Western Australia. Current efforts to halt and reverse the decline of white-bellied frogs are hindered due to unknowns around the factors contributing to population declines as well as the species specific habitat and hydrological requirements. My research aims to target these key knowledge gaps in order to achieve tangible practical management outcomes, which ultimately contribute to increasing the current extent and viability of Western Australia’s most threatened frog species. Additionally, the project will help to increase our understanding of amphibian declines, and range-wide conservation management strategies, including translocations for threatened species.