To learn about Faunaverse and its creators Aexander & Jane Dudley, listen to the interview with Dr James O’Hanlon on the insitu science podcast entitled: Poetry, Poop & Peron’s Tree Frogs
One of Alexander Dudley’s earliest memories of wildlife was the relentless search for the frog that made a loud “Toc!” sound from the fishpond in the family home at Bonnyrigg NSW when he was about four years of age. The frog would begin calling just on dark, which is when his father would arrive home from work, and one evening, in his hurry to locate this elusive amphibian, he ran headlong into his father’s groin. It should therefore come as no surprise that he has no younger siblings. Alexander has subsequently spent his life either finding wildlife as a fauna surveyor over much of northern and eastern Australia, or talking about wildlife as an interpretation ranger or tour guide in Tasmania and the Top End. He and his partner Jane believe passionately in the importance of connecting kids (and adults) to nature for the future health and well-being of people and the environment. Alex has extensive knowledge on Australian Ecology, but his main interest is Reptiles and Amphibians. Alex loves Reptiles. Like REALLY loves Reptiles. He is known in many circles as “Lizard Man”.
Jane and Alex met through a frog. Jane was living on a Biodynamic farm in the Hunter Valley and found a most “magical” frog in her raincoat, all covered in spots that “shimmered like emeralds in the sun”. She knew of Alexander’s knowledge of wildlife through her older sister and contacted him to find out what she had found ( a Peron’s Tree Frog, Litoria peronii ). They soon realised what they had found in each other was a once-in-a-lifetime partnership of love, inspiration, collaboration and lame puns. This is a very romantic Disneyesque story indeed. However, the reality is that Litoria peronii is an extremely common frog. Jane really only met and fell in love with Alex because her education about Australian fauna was abysmal and she didn’t have the slightest idea how to go about identifying a common frog. After spending many adventures with Alex in the bush, she was simultaneously awed by the incredible animals Alex introduced to her, and horrified by her lack of basic knowledge about Australian fauna and ecology in general. She realised that she represented the average Australian and felt passionately that she must dedicate her life to raising the awareness of our incredible faunal biodiversity and the threats our native animals face. Alex is the talent, but Jane is the enthusiastically motivated passionate mover and shaker propelling Faunaverse forward.
Photo of actual “Magical raincoat frog that shimmered like emeralds in the sunlight and made our Disney romance come true”, aka Litoria peronii.
Note to viewers: Handling frogs is a bad idea. Our very first online romantic interaction involved Alex ‘rousing’ on Jane for picking this frog up. The salts, oils and any sunblock or insecticide on your hands can irritate a frogs skin potentially resulting in its death! Some frogs have poisons in their skin which can cause irritation or make you sick.
If you must a pick up a frog, put your hand in a plastic bag first. Remember that all native frogs are protected.