Northern corroboree frog. Photo copyright ACT Government

Northern corroboree frog. Photo copyright ACT Government

Northern corroboree frog

Pseudophryne pengilleyi
Critically Endangered: Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, IUCN RedList (IUCN 2018)

The Northern corroboree frog has a highly restricted distribution in alpine and subalpine regions of NSW and adjacent ACT. Populations of this striking frog species have declined significantly, predominantly due to the amphibian disease chytridiomycosis. Adults breed in bogs during January to mid-March, building nests in the dense vegetation and litter that surrounds small pools.. This habitat is integral for courtship and juvenile frog survival.

In 2018 it was found that feral horse trampling significantly impacts the quality of breeding sites for the Northern corroborree frog by reducing the depth of litter and vegetation in bogs. Damaged habitat exposes eggs and renders them prone to desiccation and death. Horse damage also reduces nesting habitat.

These tiny ground-dwelling frogs are also at risk of death by direct trampling. While the decline of the Northern corroboree frog is due primarily to the disease chytridiomycosis, preventing degradation of its breeding habitat is critical to the long-term future of the species.



Hunter, D., Osborne, W., Smith, M. J. and McDougall, K. (2009) Breeding Habitat Use and the Future Management of the Critically Endangered Southern Corroboree Frog. Ecological Management & Restoration 10(S1): S103–S109.

Osborne, W. (1990) The Conservation Biology of Pseudophryne Corroboree Moore (Anura: Myobatrachidae):A Study of Insular Populations. PhD thesis, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Pengilley, R. (1973) Breeding Biology of Some Species of Pseudophryne. Australian Zoology 18: 15–30.

Sheele, B., Foster, C., M., Worboys, G. L., Driscoll, D. and Crabb, P. (2018) Feral Horse impacts on Corroboree Frog habitat, Feral Horse Impacts: The Kosciuszko Science Conference – Conference Abstracts, Australian Academy of Science, The Australian National University, Deakin University.

Scheele, B. C., Hunter, D. A., Brannelly, L. A., Skerratt, L. F. and Driscoll, D. A. (2017) Reservoir-host Amplification of Disease Impact in an Endangered Amphibian. Conservation Biology 31: 592–600.