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Meet the growling grass frog

Scientific name: Litoria raniformis

Growling grass frog sitting on a rock with reeds in the background
Growling grass frog

Conservation status

Victoria Government status: Threatened with extinction

Australian Government status: Vulnerable

About

Ever wandered along a creek or wetland and thought you heard a motorbike revving? You might’ve been lucky enough to hear the call of the rare growling grass frog.

Growlers, as they’re affectionately known, are shy creatures and can be difficult to spot. These large frogs are usually found in wetlands or slow-moving pools of water, basking in the sun on the leaves of floating aquatic plants.

The growling grass frog was common throughout south-east Australia until the 1990s, but it’s now listed as ‘threatened with extinction’ in Victoria and Australia.

Growlers forage for insects and spiders in open grassy areas. Migration between populations is essential for the long-term survival of this species – they often travel hundreds of metres searching for breeding habitats.

Read DEECA's Action Statement for the growling grass frog.

Growling grass frog example call

Listen to the call of the growling grass frog.

Source: Call attribution: Ed McNabb (Ninox Pursuits)

Threats

  • habitat loss
  • drought
  • diseases such as chytrid fungus
  • predatory fish that eat eggs and tadpoles
  • changes to stream flows and quality.

Where are they found?

Growling grass frogs are usually found in creeks, rivers, natural wetlands, quarry pits and dams.

What we are doing

We're establishing conservation areas in Melbourne’s growth areas, as development in these new suburbs progresses. Clusters of breeding wetlands will be created along the Werribee River and Kororoit, Merri, Jacksons and Cardinia creeks to provide additional habitat for many connected populations.

How you can help

Getting involved is easy, fun, and helps scientists gather information to protect this iconic species.

You only need a smartphone and the Melbourne Water Frog Census app [Android/iPhone] to start recording frog calls.

A frog ecologist will listen to every recording you submit on the Frog Census app and notify you if you have recorded a growling grass frog.

Page last updated: 24/01/24