The Melbourne Zoo Baw Baw Bunker is now home to 68 tiny froglets!
This is a huge step in building an insurance population of Baw Baw Frogs as the wild population continues to fall.
As you can see the tiny froglets are much smaller than a 5c piece, which makes caring for them quite challenging. The keepers are really happy with their progress so far, though, with all the youngsters feeding well on little pin-head crickets. The largest of the group now weighs a massive 0.2 grams!
In the wild on the Mt Baw Baw plateau, froglets have a very small window of opportunity to feed in autumn before burrowing down below the snow amongst rocks and tree roots over winter. In our Melbourne Zoo population some froglets have even been observed scaling the sides of their enclosures! This may be a natural instinct when the froglets are young to climb up out of the mud to the surface.
The growing froglets will be kept in their climate controlled Baw Baw Bunker (a shipping container kept between 7 and 15 degrees) with keepers watching their progress carefully. Fingers crossed they will all continue developing into strong healthy frogs!
Zoos Victoria is working with the Baw Baw Frog Recovery Team and Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Management Board to bring the species back from the brink. If you’d like to know more about the Baw Baw Frog and the work we’re doing to save this unique species check out: www.zoo.org.au/melbourne/animals/baw-baw-frog