It's easy being green when you're a frog

THE National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) say that's too strong a term, but whatever you want to call it, everyone agrees the thousands of small green frogs coming out on wet nights and swarming over roads and paddocks in pockets of the Northern Rivers is a good sign.

The small emerald creatures are a species of listoria - known as green tree frogs according to a NPWS spokeswoman.

"This proliferation of frogs is a really good thing," Kerrie Battese said. "Given the general decline in our frog population, this is great news.

"They'd be listoria, smaller green tree frogs and around this time of year they are also mating so the males go out and call to the females."

Ms Battese said the small frogs were out in force because of extremely favourable weather conditions.

"It's in response to the floods and higher than normal rainfall we've had. Such conditions are ideal for frogs."

Because they're highly sensitive to environmental changes, frogs are a reliable barometer of the health of our waterways and forests.

But it's a case of look, but don't touch when it comes to frogs - for their own good.

Ms Battese said because humans could pass a fatal condition known as chytrid fungus onto frogs, the engaging creatures should not be handled.

"Frogs have an extremely sensitive skin and can pick up substances such as nicotine from human hand contact," she said.

"They can also dry out very quickly when handled."

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