Northern Corroboree Frog
‘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:
- Infection by Chytrid Fungus which causes the fatal amphibian disease chytridiomycosis
- Damage to breeding sites by feral pigs and horses, fire, drought, weeds and forestry operations
- Climate change which may lead to drying and the loss of breeding pools
Saving the Northern Corroboree Frog
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.
How can you help?
- Buy phosphate-free laundry detergent and dish-washing detergent. Excessive phosphates from our drainage affect frog habitat by reducing water clarity, oxygen levels and increasing algal blooms. Your phosphate-free purchase will help improve the health of our waterways, making them a better place for frogs and other wildlife.
- Reduce your carbon footprint - Switch off your lights, and walk or ride to work. Global warming is likely to severely affect alpine environments through changes in temperature and decreased snowfall and rainfall. Doing your bit by reducing carbon emissions will help protect alpine species such as the Northern Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy-possum.
- Visit one of our three zoos - Zoos Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation - we rely on the support of our visitors and members. By visiting Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo or Werribee Open Range Zoo, you will be supporting our work to fight extinction. You can see Regent Honeyeaters at Melbourne Zoo
- Act Wild - Join the growing number of Wild Activists taking action for local wildlife. You can get grubby, get creative and find out about local conservation events.
This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. This map may not be accurate to the latest information.
Plans and publications
- Download a comprehensive overview of what Zoos Victoria is doing to save the Northern Corroboree Frog (595 KB)
- Threatened Species Profile: Northern Corroboree Frog Pseudophryne pengilleyi
- Pseudophryne pengilleyi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
- Corroboree Frogs are the only known vertebrates that can produce their own poisons.