We are now into our third and last month of radio-tracking so it comes to no surprise that we are starting to see failed transmitters. Batteries are starting to run out and frogs are free to hop off into the sunset. Of course the team will continue for the next month to radio-track those that are still beeping and we sweep up any bonus frogs along the way to gather as much data as we can in our efforts to learn more about this species and the interaction with the fungus. And there are still many familiar faces popping up along the way….the show must go on.
Unfortunately as well as failed transmitters we are starting to see signs of the deadly chytrid fungus in our population of released frogs and, with that, we have had some fatalities. This is always the hardest part of the fieldwork for everyone as so much effort and care goes into these frogs and after months of dedicated radio-tracking it is always heart breaking to see them succomb to the fungus we are trying so desperately to understand. However, the story is still a hopeful one and we still have many happy healthy frogs bouncing around that need our attention. So we battle on, unlocking secrets and making new discoveries and collecting hundreds and hundreds of swabs for some very lucky lab person somewhere to analyse. Go Team!
– By Sarah-Louise Smith, Project Coordinator