Corroboree frogs return home

One hundred critically endangered southern corroboree frogs have been reintroduced to their native habitat at Kosciuszko National Park.

Southern corroboree frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) lives in small pockets of Kosciusko National Park

Minister for Environment James Griffin said the release is part of the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program, which is backed by a $175 million commitment over 10 years

'Before this NSW Government intervention, a deadly fungal disease was rapidly wiping out corroboree frogs, and it’s estimated that as few as 30 remained in the wild,' Mr Griffin said.

'These 100 corroboree frogs have been reintroduced to a purpose-built field enclosure at Kosciuszko National Park that protects them from the disease, while allowing them to grow and thrive into the future.

'This is conservation in action, and it's working. Our Savings our Species programs like this one are part of the biggest conservation commitment in NSW history, aimed at protecting and conserving our threatened plants and animals.'

Southern corroboree frogs are critically endangered because of the amphibian chytrid fungus, drought and habitat degradation from invasive species.

The frogs were badly affected in the 2019–20 bushfires, and the field enclosures have been fitted with irrigation systems for fire-proofing, as well as remote cameras for monitoring.

The project is a partnership between the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Taronga Conservation Society Australia and Zoos Victoria.

Taronga Conservation Society Australia Herpetofauna Unit Supervisor, Michael McFadden, said its successful breeding program has an insurance population of about 400 of the frogs.

'Corroboree frogs’ biology is adapted for cold alpine climates, so the terrariums where they are bred are kept refrigerated to match seasonal temperature variation in their natural habitat,' Mr McFadden said.

'Timing the release of these frogs is crucial for their survival, allowing them sufficient time to acclimatise and prepare for hibernation ahead of winter.'