On the Expedition
The principal aim of this research is to assess the status of a number of critically endangered frogs in the rainforests of eastern Australia.
Join Professor Mahony from The University of Newcastle and explore the fertile mountain forests of the Hunter region, collecting data that will help understand how our frog populations might cope or flounder as they encounter chytrid infections. In the past Earthwatch volunteers have contributed to the exciting discovery of four new species of frog and have identified healthy and struggling frog populations. Teams are now needed to find out why some frogs are dying while others are flourishing.
We have a number of fully funded and paid for placements for students that attend public schools. If you fit this criteria please download the application form under the links header. Applications close July 23, 2012
Meals and Accommodations
Be prepared for a camping style expedition. Because our approach is to camp at sites where we have access to bush kitchens (undercover sheds with an open fire place and benches) duties in the preparation of food and cooking will be shared in rostered teams. Depending on team numbers any graduate assistants will share duties of scientific direction and logistics. There are several reasons that make this the most suitable arrangement. Firstly, our research sites are within a State Forest, which are distant from towns. Secondly, a considerable portion of our work occurs after dark, and we have found from experience that camping nearby study sites avoids driving when people are tired. Thirdly, because we aim to study a number of sites, a single base near to the sites is most appropriate. Lastly, camping provides closeness to the bush that cannot be matched by most built facilities.
About the Research Area
RESEARCH SITE: Watagan National Park, NSW
The rainforests of the Eastern escarpment World Heritage Area occur on the Great Escarpment of the Great Dividing Range. This range runs roughly parallel to the east coast of Australia and is separated from the coast by a narrow coastal plain. The plain is a rich agricultural zone that is extensively cleared. The escarpment however is forested and provides the environment for a rich and varied flora and fauna.
These forests contain flora that has its origins and evolution in the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana, and the flowering trees are ancestors to the flowering trees of the world. By international standards the mountains are not high, raising to a maximum or 1200 metres. However in the ancient landscapes of Australia, the Great Dividing Range is perhaps the most significant landscape feature of the eastern seaboard.