Hunt for the Gastric Brooding Frog - 16 Dec 2020

Limited places are still available for this exciting presentation from two of Australia's leading frog experts. They will talk about efforts to find the extinct Northern Gastric Brooding Frog and bring the Southern one back from extinction.

You can join us in person at the Mackay Environment Centre, or online via Zoom. (Wed 16 Dec 2020. 5.30pm Qld/6.30pm Daylight Saving)

In January 1984, researcher Michael Mahony found a new frog near Finch Hatton Gorge in the Eungella National Park near Mackay. This frog turned out to be a second species in the genus Rheobatrachus, the Gastric Brooding Frogs. This astonishing frog swallowed her eggs then allowed them to develop inside her stomach. When fully formed, she would vomit the juvenile frogs out of her body.

The Northern Gastric Brooding Frog Rheobatrachus vitellinus was sighted at several locations around Eungella in 1984 but by March 1985 was extinct. Like many frogs, the species had succumbed to a chytrid fungus infection. The Southern Gastric Brooding Frog Rheobatrachus silus which was discovered in 1972 had been extinct since 1981 most likely for the same reason.

Next year, Dr Conrad Hoskin from James Cook University will lead an expedition to rarely visited parts of the Urannah Creek. His aim is to see whether the species has survived there. There are good reasons why Urannah Creek may provide habitat that would allow the species to withstand chytrid fungus infections. Conrad will outline the reasons for the expedition and what his team hopes to find.

Michael MahonyOur other presenter is Professor Michael Mahony from the University of Newcastle. Apart from discovering the Northern Gastric Brooding Frog, Michael has been working with a team of biologists to try to resurrect the Southern Gastric Brooding Frog. They have used somatic cell nuclear transfer techniques, which involve replacing the DNA of an existing frog species with DNA from the extinct one. Michael will report on the work they have done to date and where Project Lazarus is heading from here.

Please join us for this free lecture.

WHEN: December 16, 2020 at 5:30pm - 6.30pm

WHERE: Mackay Environment Centre, 156 Wood St or online via Zoom



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