Recognising the community effort behind our Southern Bell Frog Breeding Facility

Our Southern Bell Frog facility (housed within the Clayton Bay Nursery and Environment Group at Clayton Bay) is going well – it currently houses 32 fat (in a good way) and healthy frogs who are presently going through their winter hibernation to be ready for the action of the first breeding season this spring. Rupert Mathwin and Greg Mathews are doing a fantastic job in establishing the facility.

Before things get busy in spring, it is a good time to acknowledge the tremendous support and input of our dedicated team of volunteers who make this facility a real community project.

Firstly, Peter and Mia Mirtschin who not only provided the initial financial support but have been very hands on, helping with regular checks, creating outside enclosures, setting up storage facilities and doing all in their power to promote the facility and Southern Bell Frogs.

The team of ‘frog maintainers’ – John Nixon, Roger and Sandra Ellis and Michael and Angie Daw – carry out daily cleaning and feeding and really have been fantastic.

The crew from the Clayton Bay Nursery and Environment Group and Clayton Bay Community Association, including Carole Richardson, Leonie Henderson, Letho Kostoglou, Laurie Hepworth and Con Boerma as well as Steve Stewart,  Judy and Daryl Pederson and Brian Lewis (among many others) have all been very supportive and have provided critical help with the establishment and operation of the facility.

Leonie Henderson and Peter Harris are taking a lead role in breeding live food for the frogs, establishing a sustainable supply of food for the operation. This includes Investigator College (John Fairbairn and Nat Gilbert) and we are developing educational links with the facility as well. Michael has also organised the production of delicious Southern Bell Frog chocolates (through Bracegirles) to help raise money for the project.

Southern Bell Frog statuettes

Lastly, to illustrate how the local community are supporting and engaging with the facility, it is worth mentioning the frog statuettes created by Pat Ingleton from Point Sturt. Pat is an art connoisseur and a talented artist who was inspired by the facility to create the statuettes. In her words, the statuettes are “Ma and Pa frog with offspring, after they successfully ‘went forth and procreated“. Let’s hope the facility follows in a similar direction!

Now for the quiet (winter hibernation) before the storm (spring breeding activity).

Nick Whiterod