add angle-downbadge calendarcard check-circle-ocheck clockemail envelope-oexclamation-circleexternal-link-squareexternal-linkfacebook-squarefacebook fighting-extinction flag-checkeredgift green-check info-circleinstagram-squareinstagram linkedin lock logo-healesville-inverse Healesville Sanctuary logoCreated with Sketch. logo-melbourne-inverse Melbourne Zoo logoCreated with Sketch. logo-werribee-inverse Werribee Zoo logo CopyCreated with Sketch. logo-zv-icons logo-zv-inverse logo-zv mime-pdf minus-boulderminus-circlepencilphone pinterest plus-boulderplus-circleremove tick timestwitter-squaretwitter vic-gov youtube
Melbourne Zoo

Stuttering Frog

The Stuttering Frog (Mixophyes balbus) has a call like a kookaburra in a hurry: ‘kook kook kook kra-a-ak… kruk… kruk’.  Quite a chunky frog (up to 8cm in length), it is also known as the Southern Barred Frog because of the stripes on its arms and legs.  

Stuttering Frogs live near fast-flowing streams in the wet forests along the east coast of Australia, from north-eastern Victoria to southern Queensland.  They are found at a range of altitudes, from 20m to more than 1400m above sea level.  Stuttering Frogs have only been found in Victoria on three occasions, and may now be extinct in this state.

Many populations of Stuttering Frogs have disappeared.  Possible causes include:

  • Changes in habitat due to logging, grazing and land clearing

  • Chytridiomycosis – an infectious disease caused by chytrid fungus fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) which infects the skin of frogs and other amphibians.  Chytrid fungus has been linked with declines and extinctions of frogs worldwide.  Once a population is infected, there is no effective way of controlling this disease

  • Introduced fish, which prey on Stuttering Frog eggs and tadpoles

Saving the Stuttering 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.

Recent genetic studies indicate that there are two distinct forms of Stuttering Frog. Zoos Victoria is focusing on the southern form and will continue to breed this form in captivity to maintain an insurance population.  We are also developing a plan to collect more tadpoles to increase the genetic diversity of the captive population. 

How can you help?

  • Wash for Wildlife – Buy phosphate-free laundry detergent, dish-washing detergent and surface cleaner.  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.
  • 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
  • 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.

Plans and publications

Stuttering Frog

Infectiously Enthusiastic for the Extinction Fighters

Found: buried in litter on the forest floor

Despite her stutter, she sends a clear message that almost any obstacle can be leapt over with a little perserverance.

Meet all priority native threatened species

Zoos Victoria plans to save this endangered animal.

See all of our 21 priority threatened native species.

Orange-bellied Parrot

$830,000 secured for critical research projects

Along with our partners, Zoos Victoria has helped secure $830,000 for three large threatened species and animal welfare research projects through the Commonwealth government’s Australian Research Council Linkage grants scheme.

3 July 2014
Love Your Locals tram launch image 1

Victoria's most endangered take to the streets

A City Circle tram has been dressed up to feature Zoos Victoria’s 20 priority native threatened species.

24 October 2012
  • Stuttering frogs get their name from the stuttering 'op' sound they make.