The secretive Baw Baw Frog (Philoria frosti) is only found on the Mt Baw Baw plateau, approximately 120km east of Melbourne.
Baw Baw Frogs have an unusual life history, and are uniquely adapted to their alpine home. Adult frogs live and feed underground, hunting worms and other invertebrates. During summer, they meet to breed in seepage sites along the edges of gullies. Females make a foam nest underground by beating air bubbles into mucous. The tadpoles hatch 5-8 weeks later at a much earlier stage than most other frog species - they don’t feed and instead live off the remaining yolk before metamorphosing into frogs.
There has been a 98% decline in Baw Baw Frogs since the 1980s. The reasons for this population crash are not clear, however the two most likely factors are:
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.
As part of a long-term program to support the conservation of this species, Zoos Victoria collected a Baw Baw Frog egg mass in late 2011. By developing captive-husbandry techniques for breeding, raising and keeping Baw Baw Frogs, we can help to rescue this Endangered species.
Together we can improve animal care, reduce threatening processes and save endangered species.
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