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Distribution and Habitat
Population and Distribution
Mixophyes balbus is restricted to the e. slopes of the Great Divide, from the Cann R. catchment in far East Gippsland, Vic., to tributaries of the Timbarra R. near Drake, NSW (Gillespie & Hines 1999). The area of occurrence of the species is about 110 000 km2 (map in Gillespie & Hines 1999). The species occurs from 20 to over 1400 m altitude, from low to high altitudes from s. to n. (Gillespie & Hines 1999). Mixophyes balbus was formerly more frequently encountered in the n. part of its range than s. of Sydney, although this may reflect limited historic searches in the region (Gillespie & Hines 1999). The species has only been found in Vic. on three occasions (Tennyson Ck, Cann R. and Jones Ck) and is now thought to be extinct in that state (Gillespie & Hines 1999). The species has declined and disappeared from a number of locations in NSW where it was common (Mahony 1993; Anstis & Littlejohn 1996; Anstis 1997). Surveys in s.e. NSW since 1990 have located individuals at only a few sites (Lemckert et al. 1997; Daly 1998). While actual estimates of population size are not available, where populations have been recorded recently, the species appears to be in low numbers (Mahony et al. 1997).
Mixophyes balbus is known from Blue Mt, Coopracambra, Dorrigo, Gibraltar, Morton, New England, Washpool and Werrikimbee NP, Bulahdelah, Carrai, Chaelundi, Dampier, Ellis, Forestlands, Hyland, Malara, Marengo, Mt Boss, Mumbulla, Myall R., Olney, Strickland, Watagan and Wild Cattle Ck. SF (Tyler 1997), Barrington Tops, Junuy Junuum, Myall L. NP, Awaba, Barrington Tops, Chichester, Doyles R., Giro, Heaton, Kerewong, Lorne, Middle Brother, Ourimbah, Styx R., Wang Wauk, Wyong SF (F. Lemckert pers. comm.), Butterleaf, Ewingar, Girard, Malara, Moogem SF (K. McCray pers. comm.).Habitat
Mixophyes balbus is typically found in association with permanent streams through temperate and sub-tropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest, rarely in dry open tableland riparian vegetation (Mahony et al.1997), and also in moist gullies in dry forest (Gillespie & Hines 1999). The ecological requirements of adults and larvae are poorly known. In n.e. NSW, statistical modelling was used to investigate the relationship of M.balbus with 24 environmental predictors (NSW NPWS 1994 in Gillespie & Hines 1999). The species showed a preference for the interiors of large forest tracts in areas with relatively cool mean annual temperatures. These sites are typically free from any disturbance with a thick canopy and relatively simple understorey (Gillespie & Hines 1999). Mixophyes balbus occurs along first order streams and occasionally associated with springs (Mahony et al. 1997). The species is not associated with ponds or ephemeral pools (Mahony et al. 1997). Tadpoles do occur with several species of native fish (Mahony et al. 1997).