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Collaborative frog research and conservation in East Kwaio, Malaita, Solomon Islands.

Solomon Island Giant Treefrog
Solomon Island Giant Treefrog (Cornufer hedigeri), known in Kwaio as the Da`a Da`a, is an enormous frog adapted for life in the canopy. With huge pads on its toes to help it climb, this species can be heard calling from high up in the canopy, with a booming “gunk, gunk, gunk”. Image: Jodi Rowley
© Australian Museum

The forests of the Solomon Islands support a remarkably unique and varied array of frog species. Twenty-one native frog species are currently known to science from the Solomon Islands, but it is likely that, particularly in high-elevation forests in the interior of the larger islands, there are frog species that await scientific discovery.

One such region- thick with pristine forest, and reaching up into the clouds, is East Kwaio, on the island of Malaita. As part of collaborative biodiversity research led by the Kwaio community, we’ve just completed the first scientific survey of the frogs (or We`e in Kwaio) of East Kwaio, Malaita, with a focus on high-elevation forests. Our goal is to work together, linking scientific and traditional knowledge, to document the frog species protected in three new conservation reserves. These reserves have been established by local tribes on their Kastom land to simultaneously protect their environment and culture from threatening processes, including logging.

This work is part of a broader project collaboration- read more here.