links for 2009-08-23

  • They like to do it froggy style, but urban noise could be ruining the sex lives of Melbourne's frogs.

    Research by Melbourne University expert Dr Kirsten Parris has found the mating call of frogs, a crucial element in the search for a sexual partner, are being drowned out by the everyday noise of the city.

    Speaking at a conference in Queensland this morning, Dr Parris said mating calls were travelling far shorter distances than in the past, up to several hundred metres less in extreme cases.

    "The male frogs call to attract females for mating and if the females can't hear them then perhaps their chances of breeding are lowered," she told The Age.

    With the low rumble of traffic and appliances like air conditioners drowning out their calls, Dr Parris said one type of frog - the southern brown tree frog - appeared to be adapting with higher-pitched, squeakier calls.

    After monitoring 50 sites around Melbourne, Dr Parris said Kew Billabong in the inner-eastern suburbs might be the worst

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