Leiopelma pakeka

Archaic, terrestrial Hamilton’s frogs (Leiopelma hamiltoni) display arboreal behaviours

New Zealand has three species of endemic amphibians in the genus Leiopelma, all of which are threatened with extinction. The primary threats to their persistence are mammalian predators and habitat loss, and the translocation of these frogs into restored habitat is a common method of conservation. The Maud Island frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni), is considered terrestrial with habitat needs centering on complex boulder-strewn habitat. However, during recent surveys of a translocated population, we found repeated use of arboreal habitat within this species.

Tracking a small cryptic amphibian with fluorescent powders

The study of amphibian spatial behaviour provides key information for species conservation. Most commonly used techniques to track amphibians are either unsuitable for small species or fail to give sufficiently fine-resolution data of habitat use. We report on the use of non-toxic fluorescent powders to track the fine-scale movement of a threatened New Zealand frog, Leiopelma pakeka.