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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
- Download a comprehensive overview of what Zoos Victoria is doing to save the Baw Baw Frog (478 KB)
- Hollis. G (2011) National Recovery Plan for the Baw Baw Frog Philoria frosti. State of Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment (4.3 MB)
- Philoria frosti in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.
- Baw Baw tadpoles get their nutrients from an egg sack so don't have to feed like other tadpoles.