Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Have a smart phone? Want to help map and save Australian frog species? Then there is an app for you

The Australian Museum issued another app on 10 November 2017:

FrogID, lets you discover which frogs live around you and helps the Australian Museum count Australia's frogs!  

Visit the project website for more info.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 November 2017

Like the stars of stage, screen and Sesame Street, the 25-year-old green tree frog called Godzilla​ was immediately ready for his croak up.

When Godzilla saw an iPhone at the Australian Museum this week, the male frog hugged it. It was an appropriate response given that a new smart phone app called FrogID is being described as an "urgent rescue mission" to save frogs that are vulnerable or endangered.  

It's part of a national citizen science initiative to count Australia's frogs, which is being launched by the Australian Museum on Friday. 

The app developed by IBM works a bit like the music identification and discovery app Shazam by recording male frog's chirps, barks and croaks. After downloading the app and turning on the location to aid identification, all users have to do is hit record when they think they hear a male frog calling out to attract the females of its species. 

The museum's frog expert Jodi Rowley said frogs were often hard to identify by sight: some species look so similar that she sometimes has to inspect the front legs to find small differences. Like humans, each frog has its own "voice", and a larger frog will sound deeper than a younger, smaller frog. 

Of the 240 native Australian species, four frogs are already extinct, five are critically endangered, 14 are endangered and 10 are vulnerable, said Dr Rowley, the curator of amphibian and reptile conservation biology.

"Frogs are an incredibly threatened group of animals," she said. "Globally it is 42 per cent of all species [that are threatened], which is faster than birds and mammals. And one of the major obstacles in preserving frogs is a lack of knowledge."…..

Download info available at FrogID.net.au 

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