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Inviato da Wes von Papinešu on Novembre 27, 1999 at 19:14:54:
THE DOMINION (Wellington, New Zealand) 16 November 99 Officials to decide today on Aussie frog's fate
(NZPA): Officials will decide today whether to mount a search-and-destroy mission against the Australian eastern banjo frog in the Waitakere Ranges, west of Auckland.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry centre for disease investigation, the Conservation Department and Auckland Regional Council spent several nights last week searching for adults of the species after an egg mass was found in the Waitakere bush. The search was unsuccessful.
Biosecurity officials will now decide the next step to take against the frog. It has been identified as an eastern banjo but might be one of several varieties of the species.
It is understood most concerns centre on its threat to the small Hochstetter's frog, one of New Zealand's rarest creatures, which also lives in the Waitakere Ranges.
The warty eastern banjo, also called the pobblebonk frog, is often mistaken for thecane toad and authorities initially feared it was this predatory pest from Queensland that had arrived in the ranges.
Eastern banjos, native to southeast Australia, are sometimes kept as pets and itis believed someone freed one or a pair after bringing them in from Australia.
The frog is a burrower and one female can lay as many as 3900 eggs. Its size is similar to the introduced Australian green and golden bell frogs.
A conservationist found an egg mass and some unusually speckled tadpoles in a pond in the ranges.
"We have not found the frog away from the original site," Hugh Davies, of the ministry centre for disease investigation, said. If there was a recommendation today to control or eradicate the frog, ways of attracting the animal with taped calls -- it sounds like the plucking of a banjo string -- would be investigated, he said.
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