FATS PRESIDENT’S REPORT August, 2022
2021-2022 was yet another difficult year for FATS. COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions on gatherings continued and again forced us to cancel many of our public events. Fortunately, we are finally able to hold public meetings face to face again.
2021 was the year that FATS commenced the Strathfield Green and Golden Bell Frog project. Land has been made available at Greenacre and we have had frog ponds installed and the site re-landscaped. In December 2021 the first GGBFs arrived – and bred. This will be a long term project for FATS. We held a few working bees at the site and more are planned, as well as an Open Day in September 2022.
This year we were able to hold a few field trips, but many were cancelled either because of COVID restrictions or floods. But again, we are hoping that this season the field trips will occur without too many disruptions.
Frog rescues have been sporadic. Last year, east coast Australia experienced a major Chytrid and possible Ranavirus outbreak amongst frogs and we have had to modify our advice to people who find sick frogs so that they don’t breach health restrictions. This winter a smaller outbreak has occurred – the impact of the second outbreak is still being assessed.
The one activity that has continued relatively unaffected by all these events has been the production of FrogCall. Monica Wangmann, our long-serving Editor has managed somehow to continue to produce FrogCall six times a year on time. As many members have not been able to travel around to meetings or events because of restrictions, FrogCall has been their only contact with the frogging world and remains our best contact with members at present. Monica and Marion will be producing another special collector’s December colour edition. Despite the chaos, FATS has retained a loyal following and our membership remains strong. COVID restrictions will be in place for some time yet and planning of future events remain uncertain.
FATS remains financially strong, thanks to our long-standing Treasurer Karen White. We had one application for a student research grant this year, which was awarded.
FATS completed the annual Bell Frog auditory surveys at Sydney Olympic Park in November and December 2021. Thanks to SOPA for supporting FATS and thanks to the members who came and helped on the night surveys.
Robert Wall organised a great series of field trips but many of these had to be cancelled at short notice because of COVID restrictions and weather issues. He has planned a full programme for the upcoming spring and summer but again we cannot guarantee that they all will run.
Kathy and David Potter organise our events programme and they have had to cancel many events at the last minute as well due to COVID disruptions. Punia Jeffery and Marion Anstis shared the role of meeting spokesperson and both help out with various other activities of Council. Phillip Grimm has two roles, membership officer and webmaster and does both with great efficiency. He also prepared the Frog-O-Graphic competition submissions for the FATS committee to judge.
Jilli Streit has been our secretary and has done a good job in that role. Many thanks also to our other executive members: Andre Rank and Luc Streit. Each has contributed whole-heartedly and helped keep FATS alive and well.
Finally, I would like to thank all of our members for being so loyal and patient during these trying times and for making FATS such a great group to be in.