Daintree Tree Frogs have become synonymous with environmentalism. Their beauty, diversity and susceptability to environmental stresses, have elevated their importance to a level of almost universal appeal.
Every now and then we are advised that certain species are disappearing in the wild. Green-eyed Tree Frog (Litoria genimaculata) is one species that attracts such concern.
I remember many years ago on an upland hike, grabbing an under-story tree for reassurance and responding to the unmistakable sensation of cold softness under my clasp. What most astonished me was not so much the coincidence of placing my hand upon the treefrog’s camouflaged form, but that I could not visually distinguish it from the surface of the tree.
After minutes of intense scrutiny, I finally made out the hemispherical curvature of its eye-lid and thought, what evolutionary genius!
Searching for treefrogs is fundamental to nocturnal tours at Cooper Creek Wilderness. Having dedicated the past twenty-years to such an undertaking, there are times when green-eyed treefrogs are nowhere to be found. However, on the night of the onslaught heavy wet season, thousands descend from their canopy refuges to mate. The sheer magnitude of rainfall overwhelms the catchment and roads are broken by flooding creeks. Participants who are lucky enough to be caught in such a deluge witness an awesome expression of tree frog diversity and population health. In these circumstances, the alleged disappearance of green-eyed tree frogs is contradicted, but it is also on these nights, that population audits are precluded by flooding watercourses.