It has many years ago since I visited Australia to search for frogs. However, recently my interest in Australian species has been completely re-kindled due to correspondence with like-minded biologist and enthusiastic fellow frogger, George Madani. George, who is affiliated with the University of Sydney, has a real passion for wildlife and seems to spend many hours on some great adventures in search of rare frogs. He has recently been enlightening me on some of the absolutely amazing species he comes across and it’s definitely wetting my appetite for go out and join him in the field. George’s knowledge of his subject is extensive, and some of the labs he is working in focus on Arid Zone Ecology, with their main study site being the Simpson Desert. This is home to some really interesting frogs, such as the termite eating, glue exuding, Notaden nichollsi. How cool would it be to find that species! Another species George has also been lucky enough to come across and photograph is the famous water holding frog of the Australian deserts, Cyclorana platycephala (pictured above). Apparently, these can remain underground for years awaiting drought breaking rains, and when the rains arrive they emerge and are in their element. Coincidentally, they appear to have a large grin on their faces! 🙂
I very much look forward to hearing George’s latest news, and only recently he was telling me that he had just returned from an 11 day trek in the remote south-west of Tasmania. Embarking on a 160km hike through some of the county’s most scenic and pristine areas, the highlight of the trip was finding and photographing the rare and endemic Tasmanian Tree Frog, Litoria burrowsae (pictured here). What a beautiful species. I only wish I could have been there to share the wonder.
In an effort to escape the winter cold, George is now planning on heading into the desert and the remote Kimberly region in the North West of Australia. I can’t wait to hear back how he gets on and i’ll be sure to keep you updated as George reports back.
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