The Frog team at Melbourne Zoo have been working around the clock to ensure the precious Baw Baw frog eggs are kept in tip top condition.
You might remember earlier posts late last year where we were pumped about returning from Mount Baw Baw with two egg masses in our hot little hands. Over the summer we have been meticulously taking care of these little guys. It feels like the future of their species is in our hands… no pressure!
Well we are very pleased to report that the Baw Baw Bunker is in full swing and both egg masses have been developing well. The little guys are currently at Gosner stage 27 – that’s frog development speak that tells us that they are starting to grow little hind legs! It very exciting to see, although they are in total darkness so we needed a special infra-red camera to get these pictures.
It’s a little hard to count them all exactly at this stage as they are all lying on top of each other, however we are confident that there are at least 40 healthy tadpoles successfully hatched and chilling out together from each of the egg masses. That’s potentially 80 Baw Baw Frogs or perhaps even more!
There is a long way to go and we’re not out of the alpine woods yet in this journey to crack the husbandry of this little amphibian mystery! Conditions in the bunker are pretty chilly – we are maintaining the bunker at 7.0 – 8.5 degrees Celsius, and providing a cool stream of highly oxygenated water to flow across the tadpoles to keep them in line with the conditions they would be experiencing in the wild. The idea is that it will simulate the seepage lines in which the egg masses were originally deposited and fertilised by their wild parents. Speaking of water – I’m off to check in with the keepers about how they test the water quality so I best be off. Keep your fingers and toes crossed that things carry on smoothly, I’ll give you a heads up when they turn into metamorphs! #canyouhearthecall #Bawbawfrog #fightingextinction