In 2020 bushfires burnt through 70% of the populations of the critically endangered northern corroboree frog. Photo: Michael McFadden.

Yesterday’s launch of a new federally-funded facility for the the critically endangered northern corroboree frog is welcome news, but efforts to prevent their extinction will be futile unless the NSW government acts to remove feral horses from the frogs’ stronghold in northern Kosciuszko National Park.

“While the new facility unveiled by federal environment minister Sussan Ley is welcome, efforts to secure the future of the species in the wild will be in vain unless their natural habitat is protected from invasive animals such as horses, pigs and deer,” Reclaim Kosci spokesperson Candice Bartlett said.

“Last year’s bushfires decimated corroboree frog habitat, exacerbating the pressure from the hard-hooves of feral horses on the fragile alpine and sub alpine landscape.

“Captive-bred programs are useful eleventh-hour measures to prevent the extinction of a species on the brink. But the reality is, unless the habitat of the northern corroboree frog is protected, reintroduction back into the wild will be futile,” Ms Bartlett said.

“We’re calling upon minister Ley to urgently ask NSW environment minister Kean to put in place a plan to reduce horse numbers in Kosciuszko National Park so that Taronga’s corroboree frogs can safely return to their home.

“Our Australian icon, the critically endangered corroboree frogs deserve a life beyond the glass tank.”


More info

  • On Wednesday federal environment minister Sussan Ley unveiled a new breeding facility at Taronga Zoo for the critically endangered northern corroboree frog, supported by $495,000 of federal government bushfire recovery funding.
  • The northern end of Kosciuszko National Park, where a recent survey confirmed the area was being overrun by over 10,000 feral horses, is the centre stronghold of the northern corroboree frog.
  • On an inspection of Kosciuszko National Park in December 2020, federal environment minister Sussan Ley was visibly shocked at the damage feral horses were inflicting on the park and called for urgent action from the states.
  • View the video footage of Sussan Ley after inspecting Kosciuszko National Park.
  • Since the coalition came to power in 2011, horse numbers in Kosciuszko National Park have roughly tripled to about 14,000.