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Healesville Sanctuary

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.

Distribution Map

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

Northern and Southern Corroboree Frogs

The toxic twins for the Extinction Fighters

Found: in the sphagnum moss of the alpine regions

Their bright stripes help to warn enemies that they're up for a fight!

Meet all priority native threatened species

Zoos Victoria plans to save this endangered animal.

See all of our 21 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
Peter Hitchener helps us Fight Extinction

Celebrating Zoos Victoria's successes this National Threatened Species Day

This National Threatened Species Day, Zoos Victoria is celebrating another successful breeding season and releases of animals into the wild.

7 September 2015
  • Corroboree Frogs are the only known vertebrates that can produce their own poisons.