The Westbury Town Common is home to seven of Tasmania’s 11 frog species.
Last week, three Westbury Primary School pupils got to get up close with one of the threatened species.
Citizen scientist Craig Broadfield stopped by the common for the first time in 20 years and checked out the area’s frogs.
“The town common is very special because it’s very accessible for young people and if you can make an impression on young people then you’ve half won the battle,” he said.
Out of pure luck, the frogs – which are typically more active at night – were out in force, greeting the three pupils to a special viewing.
“There are seven of the 11 frog species in the area which is wonderful, having that proves there is a happy balance,” Mr Broadfield said.
“It’s a sign that it is a very healthy, vibrant and balanced environment because most frogs species tend to eat each other; particularly the green and gold frog that will eat anything, including themselves.”
He said the green and gold frogs are threatened for a number of reasons.
“The main one is climate change, but also because of an internationally problematic fungal disease called chytrid which attacks the skin of the frog,” Mr Broadfield said.
“Because frogs breathe through their skin, the fungal causes them to have heart failure.”
Town common land carer Di Robinson said it was a great opportunity for the children to learn about the frogs.
“It’s important to show them there is more of a story to the common than just trees and grass and water,” she said.
“This is an outdoor living classroom. That’s what I’ve been conducting for the last five years.”
She said the value of the town common was “just growing and growing”.
“As small as the species is, there is a bigger picture,” Ms Robinson said. “Everything here is special, but each animal plays a place.”
The common is home to a number of threatened species including the frog, platypus, birds, ringtail possums and bandicoots.
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