The breeding season spans september to january and

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The breeding season spans September to January, and males can be heard calling at this time. The mating call of Litoria raniformis is a very distinctive and complex series of grunts and growls. Calling activity can be erratic, often being restricted to warm calm days and evenings. Choruses (many males calling) can reach peaks mid-morning and early evening. In breeding condition, the male frog exhibits a mottled black throat and develops black nuptial pads (hard calluses) on the back of each thumb with which he grasps the female when mating. Eggs are laid in a mat which sinks to the bottom of the water. Current Status Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 : Vulnerable Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 : vulnerable King Island Biodiversity Management Plan 161
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Plate 12. Litoria raniformis (Photograph: Parks & Wildlife Service) Figure 11. Litoria raniformis; King Island distribution King Island Biodiversity Management Plan 162
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Existing Conservation Measures There are no existing conservation measures specifically for Litoria raniformis on King Island. Distribution and Habitat Litoria raniformis lives in or near permanent or temporary freshwater waterbodies, including lagoons, swamps, lakes, ponds and farm dams (Bryant & Jackson 1999). A permanent waterbody is required for breeding. Ideal breeding habitat includes the shallow parts of lagoons or dams where there is underwater or emergent vegetation. On mainland Tasmania, the range of Litoria raniformis is restricted to lowland areas, mainly in coastal zones. Litoria raniformis has declined on the Tasmanian mainland and has disappeared from a number of areas such as the Midland and north-west. Litoria raniformis was once common on King Island and Flinders Island but anecdotal evidence indicates that the species is now rare on both these islands. Populations On mainland Tasmania, the largest populations of Litoria raniformis occur at Blackmans Lagoon in the Waterhouse area, and Bowlers Lagoon at the mouth of the Ringarooma River. Populations at other sites are relatively small. An estimate of population numbers is problematic, as not all breeding sites are known. A further complicating factor is that frog populations vary considerably in abundance from year to year. However, the population of Litoria raniformis in Tasmania is estimated to be in the region of 5000–10000 adults (Threatened Species Unit 2001). Despite the fact that Litoria raniformis is reported to have been common on King Island in the past, only two records were available from DPIPWE’s Natural Values Atlas (Figure 11), with an additional record from the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery from the Pass River. In November 2009, sites for these two records were each surveyed by Biodiversity Conservation Branch personnel, together with a number of other sites across King Island including a number where Striped Marsh Frog ( Limnodynastes peronii ) had previously been recorded (Table 11). Litoria raniformis was heard to call only at two new sites, both within Lavinia State Reserve, supporting anecdotal reports of a decline in this species on the island (Donaghey 2003). One suggestion is that this species
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