Te Puke Frogs Need Your Help
A small population of critically endangered frogs that has fought against all odds to survive is being given a chance for long-term protection.
The Hochstetter’s frog is one of four frog species endemic to New Zealand. Their love of watery climes has seen pockets of them survive in streams around Te Puke. The area is also home to kiwi, a rare stand of puriri and kererū. But years of quarrying and unsustainable earthworks have destroyed the puriri, triggering landslides into prime frog habitat. Despite all of this, the frogs have held on.
Forest & Bird has spent decades and tens of thousands of dollars trying to get proper management for this land. The area is currently under stewardship status, which means it has never been properly designated as conservation land. But the Department of Conservation are calling for public submissions to give the land Sanctuary status, which will be vital for protecting these frogs and their ecosystem.
While there is a lot of community support for this, there has always been pressure for people to use the land and it has now been opened up to the public. A track linking to the Otawa Trig walkway will enhance access without impacting on the frogs. However, any access beyond this will pose a direct threat to them. Frogs are easily stepped on, they can’t tolerate disturbances to water in their habitat and disease can be carried on footwear.
Your support is vital to protecting these frogs.
Please make a submission to the Department of Conservation in support of their proposal to give the land Sanctuary status and for public access to be restricted so these frogs will not be disturbed.
Support the land becoming the “Otawa Sanctuary Area” to ensure proper protection of its conservation values and allow for it be restored.
Ask that the land provides a link between the Otanewainuku and Otawa native forests.
Emphasize that the Hochstetters frog is one of the world’s rarest frogs.
Explain that this is a rare opportunity to restore Puriri forest in the developed coastal environment of the Western Bay of Plenty.
Ask that all management of the land should ensure better protection for the Hochstetters frog.
Expect access to be confined to the existing track linking to the Otawa Trig walkway so that it does not impact on the frogs.
Submissions are due 23 November. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to Dinah Wakelin, Department of Conservation, PO box 5244, Dunedin 9058.
Alternatively, you can: