By Casey Neill
Frogs are flourishing throughout Casey.
Melbourne Water is calling on residents to leap into action and help to keep an eye on them.
With the City of Casey, it will host a Frogs of Casey walk and talk in Hallam on Wednesday 12 April.
“That’s really going to showcase the frog species they can find in the area,” Melbourne Water Waterwatch co-ordinator James Frazer said.
He’ll also teach attendees to use their phones to identify and report frogs, and create frog-friendly habitat in their own back yard.
“Frogs in Casey are quite diverse – you can find 14 of Melbourne’s 16 species there,” Mr Frazer said.
“From creeks to wetlands and patches of bushland, Casey’s a great area for frogs.
“You’ve got a really rare frog – the southern toadlet.
“That species is a really fascinating frog that I’ll be telling people a bit more about on the night.”
He said that most frogs in Melbourne called in spring, but the southern toadlet called in autumn.
“Now’s a great time for people in Casey to get out and try to hear the calls of this frog.
“The frog is distributed all over Casey.”
To catch a glimpse – or hear a croak – from the amphibians he recommended heading out to local patches of bushland and wetlands, “areas that get inundated by rain in autumn”.
“One of the best ways they can help frogs is to get involved in Melbourne Water’s frog census program,” he said.
“It’s been running for 16 years now and is a community-led citizen science program to monitor frogs.
“That helps us understand where the frogs are in Casey and what species are out there.
“Last year we launched a new frog census app.”
Phone users can download the app free of charge and has led to an increase in frog recording.
“We had about 18 months’ worth of frog reports come in in three weeks,” Mr Frazer said.
He urged Casey residents with an interest in frogs to consider reducing chemical use in their garden, controlling their pets and getting involved in friends and Landcare groups.
The Frogs of Casey event will run from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Hallam Scout Hall, Gunns Road, Hallam, on Wednesday 12 April.
Bring sturdy shoes, a torch and weather-appropriate clothing.
Call 131 722 to book a place.
Visit www.melbournewater.com.au/frogcensus to get involved with frog monitoring.