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Southern Bell Frogs around Balranald are Endangered Species

Southern Bell Frog sculptures

Southern Bell Frog sculpture

Southern Bell Frog sculptures can be found in Market Street, the main street of Balranald, at the Balranald Visitor Information Centre, in Court Street and in Church Street, Balranald. The Balranald Visitor Information Centre also has a large number of frog souvenirs for sale. There are 18 frog sculptures in Balranald with more to come.

Why the Southern Bell Frogs?

The Southern Bell Frog (Litoria raniformis), also known as the Growling Grass Frog because of the sound of it's call, is a large handsome frog that lives in semi-permanent wetlands in south-eastern Australia. It is closely ralted to the Green and Golden Bell Frog that halted work on the Olympic Village at Homebush Bay.

The frog is bright green in colour with splotches of gold, bronze and black along its back and bright turquoise on the back of its thighs and changes colour rapidly when subject to heat or bright lights often turning dark brown during the day.

Once wide spread and abundant, the frog is endangered and listed on the NSW Endangered Species List. Scientists are still unsure why the frog began to disappear, but disease, habitat loss and threat of exotic species are likely causes.

Southern Bell Frog

The Distribution of the Growling Grass Frog in NSW is now restricted to a few areas along the Murrumbidgee River and lower Murrumbidgee Flood Plain around Balranald.

The Flood Plain contains large areas of high quality River Red Gums and Lignum / Black Box swamps that, until the recent drought, were regularly flooded.

It is understood that these areas are potentially very good frog habitat and that has been reflected in the apparent high numbers of the Barking Frog and other frog species counted in the Balranald area in recent years. Being aware of local frog numbers that appear to counter trends elsewhere local businesses and the Balranald Council are promoting this unique frog situation.

Photo : Museum of Victoria


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