Guest post by Tiffany Kosch, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at James Cook University
Southern corroboree frogs (Pseudophryne corroboree) are considered Australia’s most iconic amphibian due to their bright black and yellow coloration. What most people may not realize is that this frog is nearly extinct in the wild. Surveys conducted this year at Kosciuszko National Park found less than 50 frogs remaining. This beautiful frog is susceptible to the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). The chytrid fungus was introduced into the corroboree frog habitat in the 1980’s causing this species to decline steadily until the present day where it would be extinct if not for human intervention. Luckily for corroboree frogs, their declines were noticed right away by scientists, and a captive breeding and reintroduction program was initiated by the Amphibian Research Centre, Taronga Zoo, and Zoos Victoria. Earlier this year, the corroboree frog captive breeding program released over 2000 eggs into the wild.