Easter surprise for endangered frog

31 March 2021

The Morrison Government and Taronga Zoo have unveiled a new breeding facility to secure the future of one of Australia’s most endangered species.

Once thought to number in the millions, the Northern Corroboree frog has become a symbol of the pressures facing Australia’s alpine environments from bushfires, feral pests and land degradation.

The tiny black and yellow frogs have only a small and highly fragile habitat area across the Fiery and Brindabella Ranges and are now as few as a thousand.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley today opened a new home for the Northern Corroboree Frog breeding program at Taronga Zoo, backed by $495,000 of funding as part of the Morrison Government’s bushfire response.

“This is a purpose-built conservation breeding facility that will house up to 600 frogs,” Minister Ley said.

“Our alpine environments are precious and fragile and the impact of fires, disease, land degradation and pests such as pigs, deer and horses are a real concern.

“This facility will ensure that we can captively breed large numbers of frogs to return to their native habitat and help educate visitors about the challenges these animals face.

“It is a lifeline for a species that reminds us that, as well as protecting the iconic furry animals we all know, we need to look at the impacts on all native wildlife.”

As part of its $200 million bushfire response for wildlife and habitat, the Morrison Government has invested $10.3 million for wildlife rescue and care services, working with zoos and establishing insurance populations for at risk species, as well as captive breeding programs and genetic analyses.

Taronga Conservation Society Australia CEO Cameron Kerr said: “Taronga’s experts are routinely called upon to act as the last line of defence, stepping to protect iconic species from the brink of extinction.

“The Black Summer bushfires had a devastating impact on Australia’s wildlife, accelerating what was already a dire situation for so many threatened and endangered species, including the Northern Corroboree Frog.”

The Morrison Government has invested over $11 million in Alpine restoration programs including habitat restoration, pest animal and weed control, erosion control, and Traditional Owner-led land management and actions. Information on Alpine recovery programs funded here.