15 March 2018

Media release

A brand-new home with a landscaped front yard will soon be delivered to the smallest residents of Stockland’s Aura community as part of World Wetlands Day celebrations.

The annual event, which is now in its fourth year, will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 20, and see Unity College students and community members provide essential plants and rushes in and around a new frog pond in Aura’s Conservation Zone.

The pond is designed to promote the breeding and protection of the acid frog species and specifically the Wallum Sedge Frog – which is showing improved signs of life following the implementation of key amphibian infrastructure including a “frog highway” and additional frog breeding ponds in recent years.

Mark Stephens, Senior Environment and Community Development Manager at Stockland, said this year’s event would be particularly special as students and the community would be able to put the finishing touches on a new frog breeding haven and celebrate the positive results of past conservation efforts.

“The latest frog survey results are in and they show that Aura’s first, specially designed acid frog breeding ponds are teeming with life, particularly with the nationally threatened and protected Wallum Sedge Frog,” Mr Stephens said.

“To see such positive results emerge from the hard work of so many is heart-warming and we can’t wait to plant our newest frog pond at Aura’s future Environmental Education Centre site, which is located adjacent to the first suburb of Baringa.”

The World Wetland Day event will commence at Unity College where popular frog expert Dr Ed Meyer will deliver a talk on the endangered acid frogs, followed by Queensland University of Technology researcher Dr Berndt van Rensburg who will speak about his acoustic frog monitoring project.

Stephen Pinel, Science Curriculum Leader at Unity College, said his students were delighted to once again be involved in the program which had become a key part of their science curriculum.

“School students are now asking to get involved which is an amazing testament to the program’s ability to inspire a passion to learn more about science and our local environment,” Mr Pinel said.

Susie Chapman, Coastal Catchments Northern Area Manager at Healthy Land and Water, facilitates the event as part of the Aura Community Stewardship Program.

“I would like to invite any interested Baringa residents to join the college students in this year’s World Wetland Day planting activities,” Ms Chapman said.

“It has been perfect weather for frogs and we hope to see further breeding activity once the pond settles.”

To register your interest in attending the World Wetland Day celebrations call Ms Chapman on 0400 910 682.

For more details on Aura go to www.cityofcolour.com, phone 1300 762 058 or visit the Aura Sales and Information Centre at 1 Lukin Terrace, Bells Creek. You can also keep up with the community’s progress on Facebook at www.facebook.com/auraqld.