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The Kroombit Tinker Frog (Taudactylus pleione) is listed as critically endangered and is currently known from only 12 small patches of rainforest totalling 596 hectares at Kroombit Tops National Park, located south-west of Gladstone in South East Queensland. There are potentially less than 300 individual frogs of this species in existence today.
The 12 populations fall within an area of about 3000 hectares. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary staff have been ‘out in the field’ with Queensland Government representatives assessing habitat and monitoring the population of the Kroombit Tinker Frog. Despite many years of targeted research the eggs and tadpoles have never been observed.
One of the main threats to this frog’s existence is infection from a frog-specific chytrid fungus. This pathogen has spread to many parts of the world and is thought to be the main contributor to the disappearance of around 200 amphibian species since the 1980s. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary was the first institution in the world to house and breed a Taudactylus species in captivity. Important information was collected about the care and breeding of the Eungella Tinker Frog (Taudactylus liemi) making us well-placed to start recovering the critically endangered Kroombit Tinker Frog.
Tinker frogs got their name from their unique ‘tink, tink, tink’ sound. It sounds like two tiny pieces of metal being hit together.
Thank you to H.B Hines QPWS for this audio and Ed Meyer for the image
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In early 2018, in collaboration with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, a small group of Kroombit Tinker Frogs were captured from the wild and brought into Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Frog Safe House. Each frog was tested and treated for chytrid fungus using some of the techniques learnt by studying the Kroombit Tinker Frog’s closest relative here at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
In spring 2018, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Team members will begin to introduce pairs of frogs in an attempt to begin a captive breeding program. Ultimately the aim is to release progeny into Kroombit Tops National Park to boost the wild population and increase its resilience.