Endemic to the Mt Baw Baw plateau in the Central Highlands of Victoria, the Baw Baw Frog burrows in moist mud and leaf litter along gully streams, feeding on worms and other invertebrates. In late spring, males begin calling to attract a mate. After carefully choosing a male, the female makes a foam nest underground for their eggs. The tadpoles hatch 5 – 8 weeks later before metamorphosing into frogs.
Credit: Zoos Victoria
The wild population of Baw Baw Frogs is in decline. The definitive cause of the decline has not been conclusively established but climate change and the infectious disease Chytrid Fungus are the two greatest threats facing the Baw Baw Frog’s survival. Finding ways to eliminate or mitigate the effects of Chytrid Fungus is crucial to prevent the extinction of the Baw Baw Frog in the next decade.
What's being done?
Efforts to save the species are being supported by a $200,000 grant through the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action Icon Species Grants program, which funds targeted actions designed to protect and conserve Victoria’s threatened species.
This funding is going towards;
- A program to secure a captive population by collecting egg masses and some adults from the wild. These are being housed by Zoos Victoria. This project is supporting additional collections to secure a captive breeding population, establishment and housing of the frogs at Zoos Victoria, refinement of husbandry protocols and the development of captive breeding protocols. Information obtained through research will also inform the management of the wild population and the future reintroduction programs for the species.
- Supporting critical research to definitively clarify whether Chytrid Fungus is the primary cause of the species decline. It is hoped that this research will also help us understand the vectors for disease transmission.
Baw Baw Frogs are protected by a 'prescription', guarding against timber harvesting under the Code of Practice for Timber Production. More information can be found through the Forest Protection Survey Program.
Conserving Victoria's threatened species requires a collaborative approach. There are a number of organisations and groups working to protect Baw Baw Frogs, these include:
Page last updated: 03/10/19