Three Archey’s frogs, five Hochstetter’s frogs, three Coromandel striped geckos, and one forest gecko… all seen in less than a 24 hour period! Whenever we visit Sara and Ro out at Mahakirau Forest Estate, we are always spoilt with wildlife encounters.
Frogs? Amphibians? What’s the Fuss? I have always loved frogs, ever since I was a little boy. I still haven’t put my finger on what exactly mesmerises me so much. Is it their slippery skin, their hopping legs and huge eyes? Is it their diversity, the number of different body shapes and colours they exhibit?…
Like is the story with so many species, the great crested newt has suffered at the hands of habitat modification, primarily in the form of agricultural intensification. Due to this, their populations declined markedly during the latter part of the twentieth century. And, although they are currently widespread, there is cause for concern because populations are still being lost or damaged.
We had been instructed by our knowledgeable friends that if we were to turn over a few stones we would be in luck. No word of a lie, a few stones later we had found our first Hochstetter’s.
I need not tell you how excited I was to visit some friends residing in one of the only places in the world where I could get to see the world’s most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian species, the Archey’s Frog.