December 1st 2012
Froggy Field Guide launch goes wild
Maybe it's frogs or maybe it's Magnetic Islanders. Maybe it's both. Whatever it was, the launch of an expert, CSIRO produced book: The Field Guide to the Frogs of Queensland, by Magnetic Islander, Eric Vanderduys, went a bit wild last night when half the audience erupted into a froggy bottom dance.
It was a great night for ordinary people to gain an understanding of the frogs of Queensland as the book is the first definitive guide to their identification, range, habits and much more.
It was launched, last night, at Mary Who? bookstore in Townsville.
Opened by renowned frog biologist, Mr Keith McDonald, who spoke of how his old frog studying locations from just a few years back, the "beautiful melaleuca swamp flood plains of the Bohle River (just north of Townsville) are now covered by development - underlining the loss of habitat which makes life harder for frogs and many other species. He also spoke of large and yet to be properly studied area in Queensland's west.
As far as Eric's field guide is concerned however, he noted the superb quality of the photos which were mostly taken by Eric and how this makes identification so much easier.
Eric then made his speech thanking many of those who had assisted him and, in particular, mentioning the great help he received with the first draft, from Magnetic Islander and editor, Carolyn Pike, who died suddenly earlier this year.
Eric commented that the guide would, he hoped, make it possible for the eyes of the scientists to be assisted by "the big eye of the public" who, although they mostly contact the experts with information or questions about frogs which are well known, every now and then something very unusual is seen. Adding this information to what is known can greatly enhance the understanding of species and contribute to their preservation.
But the night was not to end with speeches alone.
Islanders Christine Corbett, Rose Gordon, Andrew Skeat and others launched into a wildly supported froggy bottom song which had everybody in stitches. Later, one woman, who was so impressed with Eric's work she successfully sought a boob signing - and got it!
For all the photos of the fun we recommend you switch to our facebook pages (here)
Story and photo: George Hirst