Assisted reproductive techniques (ART), similar to that used in humans, have been adapted for many species of wildlife around the world. Now, we hope to develop and use ART with four critically endangered Australian frog species: the Corroboree Frog (Pseudophryne corroboree) the Booroolong Frog (Litoria booroolongensis), the Alpine Tree Frog (Litoria verreauxi alpina) and the Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea). The specific project objectives are to:
- Increase the reproductive output of endangered species by developing innovative IVF techniques that can be implemented by zoos;
- Improve fertilisation rates and offspring viability;
- Assess the re-introduction success of ART-generated individuals under variable environmental conditions.
The team has successfully induced sperm-release in the critically endangered Booroolong frog and are now investigating sperm storage protocols to allow gene transfer between populations. We have also achieved reliable egg-laying Northern Corroboree frogs, which will benefit the recovery program.