Bringing the Stuttering Frog back...

Reintroducing the Stuttering Frog to the Cambewarra Ranges in the Shoalhaven

Bringing the Stuttering Frog back...

Reintroducing the Stuttering Frog to the Cambewarra Ranges in the Shoalhaven

Taking Action -


The issue

The Stuttering Frog (Mixophyes balbus) was once widespread through rainforests and tall open forests of south eastern New South Wales. However, under threat from the world-wide epidemic, chytrid fungus from Africa as well as a reduction in suitable habitat availability and predation from foxes, their range has shrunk dramatically. Now locally extinct in the Shoalhaven, the Stuttering Frog has not been recorded south of Sydney since 2006. 

The Stuttering Frog is listed as Endangered under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Vulnerable under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

The solution

Shoalhaven Landcare and Bundanon Trust determined that a strategic approach was required to bring back the Stuttering Frog including: targeted habitat selection and rehabilitation, reduction of threats, community awareness and participation, capture and rearing of frog and tadpole individuals from wild populations, chytrid testing, frog/tadpole release and ongoing monitoring. 

The NSW Environmental Trust funded this three year project which began in 2017. Since then, a dedicated team of motivated volunteers have been working on habitat rehabilitation. Meanwhile, rearing of frogs and tadpoles in captivity and chytrid testing has been underway at the Frogarium north of Sydney. 

The impact

Over 600 trees have been planted and protected with wire cages from the grazing and rubbing of wombats and deer. Weeds have been controlled over 10 hectares and foxes shot around our sites. Drought conditions have affected this project as fewer frogs were available in the wild north coast populations. Also as Stuttering Frogs require moist leaf litter and pools present in creeks, conditions at the receiving habitat were monitored for suitability.

Despite this, the project has progressed and recent rain has allowed for an upcoming frog release and working bee with 50 participants expected. The awareness amongst the local community in this project is high due to cross-promotion across the combined networks of both Bundanon Trust and Shoalhaven Landcare. 

Key facts

  • Strength and mutual appreciation in the Shoalhaven Landcare/Bundanon Trust partnership is key
  • Many other partners are involved in this project including National Parks and Wildlife Service and State Forests
  • Consideration of and flexibility around climatic conditions is essential in project design
  • Dedicated and motivated volunteers achieve great outcomes!

Project Partners