Captive Breeding

Due to the precarious state of Corroboree Frogs in the wild, a successful captive breeding program is essential to securing the long-term future of this species.

Fortunately, the decline of this species was well documented and a timely decision was made to establish a captive breeding colony. Since 1997, a number of eggs have been collected from the wild each year to form a large captive insurance colony.

The captive breeding population for the Southern Corroboree Frog is undertaken at four institutions:

  • Taronga Zoo
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Healesville Sanctuary
  • The Amphibian Research Centre.


The captive breeding population for the Northern Corroboree Frog is undertaken at three institutions:

  • Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
  • Taronga Zoo
  • Healesville Sanctuary

Corroboree Frog breeding enclosure at Taronga Zoo.

Floating hatching tray used to hatch
Corroboree Frog eggs in captivity.

At each of these zoos and reserves, the frogs are housed in specialised, climate-controlled facilities that are designed to closely replicate the cool, semi-alpine environment of their natural habitat. The facilities each have breeding tanks, tadpole-rearing tanks and shelving to house hundreds of juvenile frogs. Each of the facilities also employs strict quarantine protocols to ensure that no pathogens or diseases can enter these vital insurance populations.

Due to this success, over 2,000 Southern Corroboree Frog eggs have been released to Kosciuszko National Park, and over 2000 Northern Corroboree Frog eggs have been released to the Brindabella Ranges bordering the ACT and NSW.

For more details on Corroboree Frog husbandry, click here.

In order to manage and preserve the genetic diversity within the captive population, a detailed Genetic Management Plan has been established and implemented.

The success of the captive breeding program has allowed the establishment of education facilities at zoos and visitor centres.  It has also enabled the establishment of captive colonies at universities where conservation research can be undertaken, including studies on immunity to chytrid fungus, dietary studies and artificial reproductive techniques.

You can visit some of the captive breeding facilities and see Corroboree frogs for yourself. Find out where.