Baw Baw Frog (Philoria frosti)

November 18th is National Baw Baw Frog day.  It was named in 2014 as amphibian specialists successfully found the baw baw frog egg mass in the wild in both 2013 & 2014.  The Baw Baw frog is a tiny amphibian that only lives on the Baw Baw plateau in eastern Victoria.  It has the smallest distribution of any Victorian frog.  It is currently listed as Critically Endangered  by the IUCN red list as a good portion of its species was wiped out by the chytrid fungus and it is extremely sensitive to logging and environmental stress.  Since 2006, there has been a 92% decline in their population.

 

It is thought that the population size has dwindled to fewer than 250 mature individuals, this is down from over 10,000 in 1983-84.

Size

The baw baw frog is only 4cm’s in size and is a muddy marbled brown, dark brown and cream flecks/spots making them naturally camouflaged into their environment.

baw_baw_frog

Photo taken by Canley.  Please see the original photo here.

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Adult baw baw frogs

Photo taken by Damian Goodall.  Please see the original photo here.

Feeding

Unlike many frogs, these frogs live and feed underground.  This allows them to eat worms and other small invertebrates.

 

Breeding

During the summer, males and females meet to breed.  Females make a foam nest underground out of mucous.  Tadpoles hatch 5-8 weeks later.  These tadpoles are very unique and feed off of their own yolk sack before metamorphosing into froglets.  Clutch sizes range from 50-185 eggs.

bawbaw-frog-2-threatened-species-web620

Photo taken by Claire Kelly.  Please see the original photo here.

Captive Breeding efforts  

These frogs are hard to find in the wild.  The males call for one month each year and if you can’t hear them calling you have no clue where they are.

 

Here are some more photos on the size of their range:

Can you see it?

baw-baw-range

Here it is zoomed in quite a bit:baw-baw-range-zoomed

Here it is zoomed in even more: baw-baw-range-zoomed-100

Learn more about these fascinating frogs:

Museum Victoria

IUCN red list

ABC news

Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy

EDGE

 

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