Boost For Critically Endangered Frog

Dept of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water

The critically endangered spotted tree frog is taking new leaps with the help of the Australian Government and Zoos Victoria.

Around 70 juvenile frogs were recently returned to the streams of Mt Beauty, as part of a captive breeding program following the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires.

The fires destroyed 50% of known Spotted Tree Frog habitat in Victoria.

In 2021, 26 spotted tree frogs were taken from multiple sites for breeding and reintroduction in response to the bushfires.

With support from Australian Government funding, more than 800 frogs have now been bred at the Amphibian Bushfire Recovery Centre at Melbourne Zoo and Threatened Amphibian Biolab at Healesville Sanctuary. A second generation is in waiting to either contribute their genetics to the program or to become candidates for future wild releases.

A further 300 tadpoles and other frog species will be released in the coming weeks.

The spotted tree frog is a small, often vivid green frog with bumps all over its skin. Populations have been in decline due to:

  • habitat impacts from the fires
  • Chytridiomycosis, caused by the amphibian chytrid fungus
  • predation by non-native fish
  • other climate-related emergencies including flash flooding.

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