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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Amphibians: Separate sexes in non-breeding periods Management of Captive Animals

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • One replicated, before-and-after study in Australia found that clutch size of frogs increased when sexes were separated in the non-breeding periods, alongside providing female mate choice, playing recorded mating calls and allowing females to increase in weight before breeding.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, before-and-after study in 2006-2012 in Victoria and New South Wales, Australia reported that providing a pre-breeding cooling period, along with allowing females to gain significant weight before the breeding period, separating sexes during the non-breeding period, providing mate choice for females and playing recorded mating calls, increased clutch size and decreased egg mortality in captive southern corroboree frogs Pseudophryne corroboree, although no statistical tests were carried out. From 2006-2010 Melbourne Zoo did not separate sexes in the non-breeding period (average clutch size: 18; egg mortality: 89%). In 2011-2012, sexes were separated in the non-breeding period (average clutch size: 43; egg mortality: 89%). At Taronga Zoo sexes were always kept separate in the non-breeding periods in 2010 (average clutch size: 80; egg mortality: 72%), 2011(average clutch size: 70; egg mortality: 26%) and 2012(average clutch size: 54; egg mortality: 28%).

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.