Maud Island Frog - Leiopelma pakeka
A population of the Maud Island frog was found on Maud Island in the Marlborough Sounds in the 1940s. It was first thought to be the same species as Hamiltons frog found on nearby Stephens Island but found in about 1998 to be a separate species. Females lay up to 20 eggs in cool damp depressions under cover on the ground. The larvae undergo development within the egg and hatch metamorphosed.
With the Maud Island Frog, as is common to New Zealand's frogs, the male cares for the eggs and froglets which clamber onto his back and legs when able. Chytrid fungus was first detected in Canterbury in November 1999 and by September 2001 it was detected in frogs of the Coromandel region. The spread of this fungus poses a serious threat to this and other nationally endangered species.
© Images Dr Paddy Ryan