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Kroombit Tinkerfrog

Queensland hosts the highest number of extinct and critically endangered frog species in Australia. Amongst these frogs are five of the six species of Tinkerfrog, genus Taudactylus. The Tinkerfrogs are a group of small, cryptic and rarely seen frogs that live in mountain stream environments in eastern Queensland. The Kroombit Tinkerfrog is a critically endangered species restricted to a handful of narrow rainforest gullies within Kroombit Tops National Park, Central Queensland. Kroombit Tinkerfrog populations are affected by habitat degradation caused by introduced pest species and bush fires, however the amphibian chytrid fungus is likely to be the most significant factor in the decline of this species. The Kroombit Tinkerfrog recovery program was established to prevent the extinction of this species in the wild.


Who Knew?

Tinkerfrogs got their name from their unique ‘tink, tink, tink’ sound. It sounds like two tiny pieces of metal being hit together.


Protecting the Kroombit Tinkerfrog in the wild

The in-situ (in the wild) component of the Kroombit Tinkerfrog recovery program includes monitoring of population trends through frog-searches and acoustic monitoring of calling frogs, as well as regular assessment of relative numbers of pest species and their impacts to the habitats of Kroombit Tops National Park. Pest control measures are currently focused on reducing the numbers of pest animals in the National Park as well as fencing off critical Kroombit Tinkerfrog habitat to prevent access by feral pigs.


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The recovery plan for the Kroombit Tinkerfrog includes an ex-situ component (captive breeding) that is managed by Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The aim of the ex-situ program is to release genetically diverse frogs bred in managed care into the wild to supplement existing populations and repopulate sites where Kroombit Tinkerfrogs have gone locally extinct. In addition to serving as an insurance population against extinction in the wild, the ex-situ population of Kroombit Tinkerfrog is an important source of behavioral and reproductive information for this little-known species.

Kroombit Tinkerfrog Recovery Program Timeline:

2008 - Establishment of the Frog Conservation and Research Facility (FCRF) at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary;

2009 - Eungella Tinkerfrogs collected from the wild and transferred to the FCRF at CWS;

2010 - Successful treatment protocol for Chytridiomycosis established for Eungella Tinkerfrogs;

2011 - First successful breeding of Eungella Tinkerfrog in managed care;

2014 - First successful breeding of managed care and reared Eungella Tinkerfrog;

2018 - Kroombit Tinkerfrogs collected from the wild and transferred to the FCRF at CWS;

2019 - First successful breeding of Kroombit Tinkerfrog in managed care and the first time that eggs have been observed for this species;

2019 - Kroombit Tinkerfrog eggs hatched and the first time that tadpoles have been observed for this species;

2020 – First captive Kroombit Tinkerfrog tadpole fully metamorphed into a froglet;

2021 - Welcome to our Tinkerfrog Co-ordinator, Michael Vella; by the end of 2021 we have 84 bred in managed care Kroombit Tinkerfrogs;

2022 – Construction of the Froglab completed in November 2022;

2023 – Calls of released frogs heard at re introduction site – evidence of survivorship of frogs from first release in March 2023;

2024 – Further evidence of survivorship in March 2024 – recordings of male Tinkerfrogs at the reintroduction site. 300 Kroombit Tinkerfrogs reared for the breed for release program.

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