‘Squelch’ may not be the most stunning of calls, but this is quite a stunning little frog. Northern Corroboree Frogs (Pseudophryne pengilleyi) are vividly striped and can be distinguished from Southern Corroboree Frogs by their lime green rather than bright yellow colouration.
Only 2.5-3cm in length, Northern Corroboree Frogs are found in the Bimberi and Brindabella Ranges of the ACT and the nearby Fiery Range and Bogong Mountains in NSW. They live in forests, sub-alpine woodlands and tall heathlands.
During summer, the male frogs seek out water-logged areas in which they build small mossy nests. From January to March, the males ‘squelch’ in an attempt to attract egg-laying females to these nests. The 20-30 large fertilised eggs will then remain in the nest until heavy autumn/winter rains stimulate hatching. Like many alpine-adapted animals, Northern Corroboree Frogs have a relatively slow lifecycle – they do not reach sexual maturity until three or four years of age.
Although not as rare as Southern Corroboree Frogs, Northern Corroboree Frogs are affected by many of the same threats and are listed as Vulnerable nationally. Populations have declined significantly in the last few decades. Key threats include:
Zoos Victoria is working to change the fate of threatened species and is committed to Fighting Extinction – we will ensure that no more Victorian terrestrial vertebrate species become extinct.
Zoos Victoria is working with the national recovery team to breed Northern Corroboree Frogs for release to support wild populations. In 2010, our frogs produced 178 fertile eggs which were released to the wild. By maintaining a healthy captive population, we are also helping insure this species against possible extinction in the wild. Furthermore, by monitoring our captive populations of Northern and Southern Corroboree Frogs, we aim to better understand their behaviour and the differences between these two species.
Together we can improve animal care, reduce threatening processes and save endangered species.
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