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Melbourne Zoo

Baw Baw Frog

The secretive Baw Baw Frog (Philoria frosti) is only found on the Mt Baw Baw plateau, Victoria, Australia. Sadly, all estimates point to extinction in the wild in just 5-10 years.

The Baw Baw Frog’s wild population has declined by more than 98% since the late 1980s, driven by an infectious disease called Chytrid Fungus.

The Baw Baw Frog lives and feeds underground, hunting worms and other invertebrates. During summer, males and females meet to breed. Females make a foam nest underground by beating air bubbles into mucous. The tadpoles hatch 5-8 weeks later, much earlier than most other frogs - the tadpoles don’t feed and instead live off their own yolk sack before metamorphosing into frogs.

Saving the Baw Baw Frog

The establishment of a self-sustaining captive insurance population is now the highest priority to save the species. Zoos Victoria is leading this.

In 2010 almost nothing was known about managing this frog in captivity. At Melbourne Zoo we have since developed husbandry techniques for raising and keeping Baw Baw Frogs and we could expect breeding when our youngest frogs reach maturity in 2019.

How can you help?​

  • One of the least obvious threats to the Baw Baw Frog is that many Australian don't know they exist or that they are in so much trouble. You can pledge your new found love for this Victorian species right now using Facebook.
  • By visiting Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo, you will be supporting our work to fight extinction. Zoos Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation - we rely on the support of our visitors and members.

Plans and publications

Baw Baw Frog

The Brawn for the Extinction Fighters

Found: only on Mt Baw Baw, Victoria

Using his super-strength, Baw Baw can burrow below the moss and earth with ease.

Meet all 20 priority native threatened species

Zoos Victoria plans to save this endangered animal.

See all of our 20 priority threatened native species.

Southern Corroboree Frog

Threatened Species Day 2016

Some of Australia's most endangered species have had a big boost thanks to results announced to commemorate National Threatened Species Day at Zoos Victoria.

6 September 2016
Baw Baw babies birthday 1

Baw Baw babies birthday

Small but significant, Baw Baw Frogs are one of Victoria’s most endangered species.

They’re found only on Mt. Baw Baw, and until very recently no one but a few researchers had ever even seen one.

1 April 2016
  • Baw Baw tadpoles get their nutrients from an egg sack so don't have to feed like other tadpoles.