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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Amphibians: Manipulate sex ratio within the enclosure Management of Captive Animals

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One replicated study in Australia found that frogs only bred once sex ratios were manipulated, along with playing recorded mating calls and moving frogs into an indoor enclosure which allowed temporary flooding, and had various types of organic substrate.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

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A replicated, before-and-after study in 1994–1996 of roseate frogs Geocrinia rosea at Melbourne Zoo, Australia found that fertile eggs were only laid after sex ratios were manipulated, females carrying eggs were introduced to males, recorded mating calls were played, and frogs had been moved to an indoor enclosure which allowed temporary flooding and had a mix of organic substrates. The only fertile spawning occurred in spring 1996, which contained 25 eggs, but they were destroyed by fungus. From 1994-1995 , two male and three sub-adult frogs were housed in two outdoor tanks (120 x 60 x 60 cm) with a sub-surface water depth 50-100 mm. Males called when they were in outdoor enclosures, but fertile eggs were not produced until animals were moved to indoor tanks. From 1996, 6–7 frogs were housed in each of the five indoor enclosures.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Jonas, C.S., Timbrell, L.L., Young, F., Petrovan, S.O., Bowkett, A.E. & Smith, R.K. (2019) Management of Captive Animals. Pages 539-567 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.