National Recovery Plan for the Baw Baw Frog Philoria frosti

Department of Sustainability and Environment, East Melbourne



The Baw Baw Frog Philoria frosti is a smallish brown frog endemic to the Baw Baw Plateau and escarpment area, in the Central Highlands of Victoria, about 120 km east of Melbourne. The total extent of occurrence of the species is about 135 km2. On the plateau, Baw Baw Frogs occur in sub-alpine wet heathland and woodland, while on the escarpment, frogs occur in montane habitats such as cool temperate rainforest, mixed forest and wet forest.

Prior to 1983, the Baw Baw Frog was considered relatively common within its limited distribution. However, since then the species has undergone a precipitous decline in abundance, especially on the plateau, and range has contracted. Causal factors responsible for the decline remain largely unknown, although climate change and/or an introduced pathogen may be responsible. Other threats may have included land use activities such as forestry and operation of the alpine resort on Mt Baw Baw, atmospheric pollution, increased UV-B radiation due to depletion of stratospheric ozone and the impact of pest plants and animals. The Baw Baw Frog is listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and Threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

This document constitutes the revision of the first Recovery Plan for the species (Hollis 1997). The plan assesses the performance of the previous plan, and considers the future conservation, management and research requirements for the species. It identifies conservation objectives, the actions to be taken to ensure the species' long-term survival prospects across its distribution, and the parties responsible for their implementation. It also identifies criteria for which the success of implementation of actions will be assessed. The actions identified will be undertaken or managed by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria, Mt Baw Baw Alpine Resort Management Board, Amphibian Research Centre, James Cook University and selected external consultants. Successfully achieving the objectives of this Recovery Plan is subject to budgetary and other constraints affecting the parties involved. The plan may also be subject to amendments in the event of new information, or following recommended changes by the Baw Baw Frog Recovery Team.