Our Southern Bell Frog conservation facility is go…with tadpoles!

Our Southern Bell Frog (aka Growling Grass Frog) conservation facility at Clayton Bay on the shores of Lake Alexandrina reached an important milestone recently. After over a year of construction and preparation, more than 20 tadpoles have arrived at the facility over the past few weeks (and are being quarantined). Originally, we had hoped to collect adult frogs, but the dry season (with few frogs calling), necessitated a shift to tadpoles being raised to kick-start our breeding program.

Southern Bell Frog tadpoles at the conservation facility

The facility, privately funded until December 2020, is an exciting, proactive initiative aiming to aid the conservation of the  lower Murray-Darling Basin population of this nationally endangered frog species. It involves captive maintenance and breeding and will ultimately contribute to reintroduction at strategic locations around the Lower Lakes. Thanks to all those who have helped get the facility up and running. First and foremost, Peter and Mia Mirtschin for their vision, dedication and can-do attitude. Also thanks to Tracy McNamara from The Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) for her administration of the project. The Clayton Bay Nursery and Environment Group and the Clayton Bay Community Association who, along with the Alexandrina Council, have provide a home (and resources) for the facility. Over the past year, Aquasave-NGT staff, including Rupert Mathwin, Ruan Gannon, Cory Young and Sylvia Zukowski have all worked on the facility.


Peter and Mia Mirtschin receiving ‘The Litoria’ for all their efforts from young ecologist Charlie



A special thanks to SA DEW staff, namely Kate Mason and Darren Willis and Stephanie Robinson along with Peter Copley and Matt Heard who have all assisted along the way. Thanks also to the National Trust for allowing the tadpoles sampling to occur at their Overland Corner Reserve to get the facility up and going. Lastly, there have been volunteers – too many to mention! – who have generously helped construct and set up the facility.

We are having a end-of-year BBQ this Friday afternoon (20th Dec 2019) to celebrate this important milestone and thank all those who have helped get the facility to where it is.

Let 2020 be the year of the Southern Bell Frog!

Cheers Nick




Nick Whiterod