Name: Baw Baw Frog, Philoria frosti

Description: The Baw Baw Frog is one of Australia's many endangered amphibians. Adult length is between 42 to 55 mm. Adults are dark brown and often have distinctively coloured bellies. These frogs have a prominent parotoid gland behind each eye. Their toes are unwebbed. To reproduce they lay eggs. Breeding season is between the months of October and December. At hatching, the tadpoles are creamy white and unpigmented, acquiring some colouration and eye pigmentation as they mature. The Baw Baw frog's diet is still unknown and we don't know whether they hibernate during the winter season though it is likely that they do.


Habitat: Baw Baw frogs live in a restricted range on the Baw Baw Plateau in eastern Victoria, Australia and have more recently been discovered in the subalpine moist eucalypt forests around the plateau. The breeding habitat appears to have contracted to the moister and less rocky western and central areas of the plateau. The female frog lays her eggs in naturally occurring cavities in and around the soil, vegetation, logs or rocks. According to Hollis, the tadpoles generally remain at their hatching site but may move short distances in shallow water, while remaining under cover of vegetation, or may be washed into ponds.

Population estimates have reduced from 10,000-15,000 breeding males in 1983 to around 750, or according to Frogs Victoria less than 250 individuals. The cause of this reduction is unknown, but the usual suspects of predatation by feral animals, habitat degradation, chytrid fungus and ozone layer depletion may each have contributed. The frog's habitat is subject to woodchipping and Hollis cites as having found significantly higher mortality rates in eggs and tadpoles in disturbed habitats in comparison with those in undisturbed surroundings.