Northern Corroboree Frog
Distribution and Habitat
Examination of museum records indicate that P. pengilleyi (recorded at the time as the northern form of P. corroboree; see Pengilley 1966; Osborne et al. 1996) was most frequently collected in the Brindabella and Bimberi Ranges near Canberra. Specimens were examined from Snowy Flats, Ginini Flats, Bulls Head, Lees Spring, Coree Flats, California Flats and Hume Sawmill. Osborne (1989) found that the species was still present at most of these sites but was unable to find frogs in the vicinity of Hume Sawmill at the n. extremity of its range. Osborne (1989) also found the species to be widely distributed and common throughout the Fiery Range and Bogong Mt. [Osborne et al. 1999]
Studies in 1991 on the genetic structure of Pseudophryne populations revealed that the southern population of P. corroboree was in fact a separate species from the two northern populations, which then became known as the species P. pengilleyi (Osborne & Norman 1991). Hybridisations between the two species were found to result in high mortality of larvae (Osborne & Norman 1991). Pseudophryne pengilleyi occurs in two allopatric populations (Osborne 1989). The Fiery Range population occurs from Yarrangobilly to Buccleuch SF at 960-1520 m, an area of occurrence of about 550 km2 (Osborne 1989). The Brindabella Range population occupies only 60 km2 from California Flats to Mt Bimberi at 1090-1840 m (Osborne 1989).
Between 1994 and 1998, restricted surveys were undertaken (mainly along vehicle tracks) throughout the known range of P. pengilleyi in the Fiery Range and Bogong Mt. More extensive surveys were conducted in the Brindabella Range and Bimberi Range (Osborne & Hunter unpubl. data). The species was still relatively abundant and widespread in the Fiery Range, however, was not found in the Yarrangobilly-Peppercorn Hill area where it was previously recorded by Pengilley (1966) and Osborne (1989). The species was found at breeding sites (often remote from each other) throughout suitable parts of the Brindabella and Bimberi Range, both in the ACT and contiguous areas of NSW (Osborne et al. 1999). The numbers present at breeding sites in the region were considerably lower than was recorded by Osborne (1989 and unpubl. data).[Osborne et al. 1999]
Long-term monitoring of P. pengilleyi was only undertaken in the Brindabella Range. Only one population, Ginini Flats - a subalpine site (1600m) in the ACT was subject to annual monitoring. Numbers present at Ginini Flats declined substantially during the first few years of monitoring and have remained low ever since. Less-regular monitoring was undertaken at Coree Flats (980m) in NSW. By contrast, the Coree Flats population has supported a larger number of calling males (at least during the years the survey was carried out). However, monitoring at Coree Flats commenced after a major drop in numbers had occurred at other sites. Earlier collecting and observations by Pengilley (1966 and pers. comm.) at this site indicated that the population was very large (perhaps over 500 individuals). The low numbers detected in 1998 are likely to be a direct response to the extreme drought conditions prevailing during the breeding season.[Osborne et al. 1999]
Pseudophryne pengilleyi has declined at higher altitudes (above 1400 m) but remains common at montane altitudes in the Fiery Range (Osborne et al. 1999). The species is known from Namadgi National Park, ACT, Kosciuszko NP, NSW and Buccleuch SF.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Excavation by Feral Pigs and trampling by Horses have also been identified as potentially threatening processes for the species (Osborne 1990a; W. Osborne pers. comm.).
Trends and Threats
Osborne, W.S. 1988. A survey of the distribution, abundance and habitats of Corroboree Frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree in Kosciusko National Park: with reference to ski resort development. Report prepared for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. [Report; Status=Final; Refereed=?]
Osborne, W.S. 1989. Distribution, relative abundance and conservation status of Corroboree Frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree (Anura: Myobatrachidae). Australian Wildlife Research 16: 537-547. [Journal; Status=Final; Refereed=Yes]
Osborne, W.S. 1990a. The biology and management of the Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) in NSW. Species Management Report No. 8, NPWS, Hurtsville, NSW. [Report; Status=Final; Refereed=?]
Osborne, W.S. 1990b. The conservation biology of Pseudophryne corroboree Moore (Anura: Myobatrachidae): a study of insular populations. PhD thesis, Australian National University, Canberra. [Thesis; Status=Final; Refereed=?]
Osborne, W.S. & J.A. Norman. 1991. Conservation Genetics of Corroboree Frogs Pseudophryne corroboree Moore (Anura: Myobatrachidae): population subdivision and genetic divergence. Australian Journal of Zoology 39: 285-297. [Journal; Status=Final; Refereed=Yes]
Osborne, W.S., R.A. Zentelis & M. Lau. 1996. Geographical variation in corroboree frogs, Pseudophryne corroboree Moore (Anura: Myobatrachidae): a reappraisal supports recognition of P. pengilleyi Wells and Wellington. Australian Journal of Zoology 44, 569-587. [Journal; Status=Final; Refereed=Yes]
Osborne, W., D. Hunter & G. Hollis. 1999. Population declines and range contraction in Australian alpine frogs. In: Declines and Disappearances of Australian Frogs. A. Campbell (ed) pp. 145-157. Environment Australia, Canberra. [Book; Status=Final; Refereed=Yes]
Pengilley, R.K. 1966. The biology of the genus Pseudophryne (Anura: Leptodactylidae). M.Sc.thesis, Australian National University, Canberra. [Thesis; Status=Final; Refereed=?]
Pengilley, R.K. 1971. Calling and associated behaviour of some species of Pseudophryne (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Journal of Zoology (London) 163: 73-92. [Journal; Status=Final; Refereed=Yes]
Pengilley, R.K. 1973. Breeding biology of some species of of Pseudophryne (Anura: Leptodactylidae) of the Southern Highlands, New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 18: 15-30. [Journal; Status=Final; Refereed=Yes]
J-M. Hero; L. Shoo; M. Stoneham; W. Osborne
Written by J-M. Hero; W. Osborne; L. Shoo; M. Stoneham (m.hero AT mailbox.gu.edu.au), Griffith University
First submitted 2002-04-05
Edited by Ambika Sopory, Jean-Marc Hero (2002-05-04)
Feedback or comments about this page.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.