Wallum Sedge frog – Litoria olongburensis

Sand mining on Stradbroke Island destroys habitat of the vulnerable Wallum Sedge frog.

The Wallum Sedge frog is a ‘vulnerable’ species, as acknowledged by the Queensland Government, Federal Government, NSW Government and internationally through the IUCN.  (The IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature – see more about the IUCN.)

Sand mining destroys, degrades and threatens the habitat of the Wallum Sedge frog – sand mining contributes to the death and decline of this vulnerable frog species.  Sand mining’s impact is acknowledged by the Queensland government, Federal Government and internationally.

Despite the Queensland Government knowing that sand mining effects the Wallum Sedge Frog, the government, supported by the LNP politicians, extended sand mining on Stradbroke Island for 15 years.

Important wallum sedge frog populations live in areas which are covered by mining leases on Straddie. http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/register/p02127aa.pdf

How sand mining threatens the Wallum Sedge frog

Loss of habitat

Mining is very destructive, requiring large areas of vegetation to be destroyed and the sand dunes to be extensively degraded.  This loss of habitat impacts on the frog.  Sand mining on Straddie is destroying ‘essential habitat’ of the Wallum Sedge frog, as classified by the government. (See Regional Ecosystem map showing essential habitat.)

Change in water acidity

Mineral sand mining on Straddie uses a process called ‘dredge mining’.  This requires large amounts of water to be pumped into an artificial pond.   Water is pumped from various water bodies on Straddie and when water is replaced, this may not have the same chemical composition, including acidity.

Wallum Sedge frogs live in water which is slightly acidic.  If the pH (acid level) of the water is changed, ‘less acid-tolerant species … might displace wallum frog species’. See:  http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/register/p02127aa.pdf

Additionally the water level in the water bodies can be decreased due to the pumping of water for sand mining.  This reduction in water level can also impact the frog’s survival. See:  http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/register/p02127aa.pdf

Wallum Sedge Frog, photo: Clay Simpkins

Range of the Wallum Sedge frog

Extent of the Wallum Sedge frog, IUCN

The Wallum Sedge frog is ‘vulnerable’, as acknowledged by the Queensland Government, Federal Government and internationally through the IUCN.

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