Progress of the Litoria booroolongensis program
at Taronga Zoo


Litoria booroolongensis

Common Name(s)

Booroolong Frog

Region where program is based


Country where program is based


The authority that recommended this species for an ex situ program

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Has a genetic analysis been performed on wild populations to define the target taxon, i.e., verify that single, viable Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESU's) that are managed as separate populations, are not confounded by cryptic species or polymorphisms?

Name of the institution managing the ex situ population

Taronga Zoo

Year the program started


Is at least some portion of the captive population maintained in range country?


Are sufficient resources available to manage the ex situ population?


Are adequate numbers of skilled staff available with the appropriate ex situ amphibian experience?


Is sufficient space available for the required population size?


Additional Support required

Has a Taxon Management Coordinator for the ex situ population been appointed?


Taxon Management Coordinator

Michael McFadden of Taronga Zoo

Has a Taxon Management Group or Recovery Team been established?


Has a Taxon Management Plan, Recovery Plan or Species Action Statement been written?


Have Husbandry Guidelines been written?

In preparation

Web link to Husbandry Management Guidelines

Have any knowledge gaps in the species biology or in their interaction with potential threats been identified that could benefit from research using the ex situ population?


Have founder needs been calculated using the AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines ?


Have sufficient potential founders been collected? ( AArk Amphibian Population Management Guidelines recommends a minimum of 20 pairs of found animals).


Is the ex situ population managed by nationals from the range country?


What tools are used to maximize retention of genetic diversity?


Has the population produced viable offspring?


Have the first generation captive-bred animals bred successfully?


Is the ex situ population housed in permanent isolation from other populations occurring outside its range?


Is work being supported to study and mitigate threats to the species in the wild, either by the institution or by a regional wildlife agency?


Have captive-bred or captive-reared animals been released into the wild?


If releases were undertaken, have disease screening protocols or veterinary health checks been conducted prior to releases to the wild?


Is follow-up work being carried out to monitor progress of the released animals?


Is the taxon again secure in the wild, even if it might still require some ongoing in situ management? i.e. has the need for a captive assurance population been obviated such that we can call this a successfully terminated captive rescue program?



This species was initially established as a conservation program at Taronga Zoo to establish captive breeding protocols, trial reintroduction as a potential recovery effort and provide animals for conservation research. As each of these objectives have now been met, this program has been downgraded from a biosecure insurance population to a population utilised for educational and research purposes only. This species has been utilised for conservation research in a study investigating adaptive immunity as a collaboration between James Cook University, Taronga Zoo and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Individuals produced at Taronga Zoo are now the focus of various reproductive projects at the University of Wollongong. The taxon is certainly not secured in the wild but an ex-situ population is not necessary in the short-term. Should conditions in the wild decline in future years, an insurance population may need to be established. Preliminary results from this program can be found in the following publication - McFadden, M., D. Hunter, P. Harlow, R. Pietsch and B. Scheele. 2010. Captive management and experimental re-introduction of the Booroolong Frog on the South Western Slopes region, New South Wales, Australia, pp 77 _ 80 in Soorae, P. S. (ed.) GLOBAL RE-INTRODUCTION PERSPECTIVES: Additional case-studies from around the globe. IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
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