Cadbury's Freddo partners to protect our native frogs

In New Zealand, we currently have four species of native frogs and three species of introduced frogs. All of New Zealand’s unique native species (genus Leiopelma), as well as two of the introduced species (the Bell frogs Litoria aurea and Litoria raniformis), have been listed as threatened or endangered.  New Zealand’s native frogs are an ancient group of frogs that have changed very little in the last 70 million years.

The Hochstetter’s frog has a brown-green to brown-red top with dark bands and warts and yellow-brown bellies. Males grow to 38 mm (1.5 in) and females 50 mm (2.0 in). It can take 3-4 years for the Hochstetter’s froglets to develop to full adult and they can live up to 30 years.

This species used to be widespread but is now distributed in only 10 known fragmented and isolated populations in the northern half of the North Island – Waitakere and Hunua Ranges, Dome Valley, the Coromandel Peninsula, Great Barrier Island, Maungatautari Ecological Iasland, and the East Cape. The total population size across New Zealand is estimated to be c. 100,000 individuals.

Since 2019, we have been working in partnership with Auckland Council and Mondelēz International’s Cadbury Brand to help protect the Hochstetter’s Frog through Cadbury’s Save Freddo’s Friends campaign.

This programme involves the protection of a colony of Hochstetter’s frogs in the Huia Catchment in the Waitākere Ranges though 300 hectares of predator control. The Hochstetter’s frog in the Huia catchment used to be the stronghold population in the Waitākere Ranges. In recent years, though, it has been the colony with the greatest decline in numbers. It is roughly estimated that 1,000 Hochstetter’s frogs live in the Waitākere Ranges and we hope this number will grow.

Freddo the Frog – Native Frog Protection

To help people learn more about these amazing animals, each year Cadbury’s releases special Dairy Milk ‘Freddo’ packs across Australia and New Zealand which take the spotlight off Freddo to feature critically endangered frogs including the Hochstetter’s Frog. These packs also include QR codes which allow consumers to find out more about the endangered frogs, what is being done to help save them, and what they can do to support current and future conservation efforts. Find out more here:

Hochstetter’s Frog Recovery at the Waitākere Ranges

This partnership will help the recovery of the Hochstetter’s Frog by:

  • – Increasing predator control at key sites
  • – Monitoring and population studies
  • – Education

This area is adjacent to the Ark in the Park (a community restoration programme in the Waitākere Ranges) so this is great news for the biodiversity of the Ranges.