The Australian bushfires consumed 17 million hectares of forest at the end of 2019 and 2020. Citizens amplified and registered calls from frogs using a mobile phone and a mobile FrogID App and helped scientists create a snapshot of frogs in Australia before and after the fire.
Scientists and conservation groups are suspicious of the extent of fire damage to animal and plant species. But due to the extent of the damage in the area and the travel restrictions associated with recent time, a scientific investigation is a major challenge.
The scientists were already expecting significant damage to plant and animal species, especially those with problematic Status. Frogs are particularly vulnerable as they are susceptible to pressure such as temperature fluctuations, health issue, and habitat loss. Information on how frogs can react to fires is limited.
But with the help of citizens, mobile phones and the FrogID App, researchers were able to assemble 45 species of frogs from recorded calls after fires.
FrogID Mobile App
The FrogID, the instrumental application for a current picture of frogs from its recorded calls, is a free application downloaded on smartphones.
Under the direction of the Australian Museum, the project allows anyone to record and download a frog call. A team of scientists then identifies the species by its vocation and develops a national database of it.
The App was launched in November 2017, and more than 13,000 citizen scientists have downloaded the App, having recorded calls from 220,000 frogs across the country.
Australia has 240 known frog species. At least four of these species would be extinct, and another 36 are frightening. After the fire, the scientists needed more information about the frogs, which needed immediate help. With travel restrictions dying in recent times after bushfires, a field survey became a challenge.
Before the fire, citizen scientists were able to send 2,655 records of 66 species of frogs from areas that were burned by fire. In the four months of the fire 632 records were sent to the FrogID Team. From the records, the researchers confirmed the presence of 45 of the 66 previously recorded species; later, 33 species of summer frogs were also detected, leading the researchers to conclude that there were no “not found “frog species.
Most common were the cricket (crinia means) and the cricket (Limnodynastes peronii). To find of rare and imperil species such as the frog, it means South (Mixophyes balbus), vulnerable, to find the frog, it means, giant (Mixophyes iteratus), disappear, and the frog mountain (Philoria kundagungan) were also confirmed this.
The traditional examination is always necessary.
Despite the valuable data provided by citizen scientists, the researchers said more information about how the affected Australian frog is still not found, especially for species with high conservation concern. The traditional survey is still necessary, but FrogID will remain a powerful tool, as it allows a fast collection of information on a large scale.