This February, Australia’s most iconic frog, Freddo, is giving up his place on-pack to encourage Australians to find out more about his endangered frog friends.
These frogs have been close to extinction in Australia for many years and with the recent bushfires it has made the situation worse than ever before.
From February, Freddo will be replaced on the front of packs with images of his real-life endangered frog friends, to educate Australians about the plight of these animals.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Australia is the 4th worst-ranked country for animal extinctions and has a number of species of frogs on the brink of disappearing forever. The plight of these frogs has been even further impacted by the devastating bushfires, bringing many of them to the brink of extinction.
To give them the best chance of survival, Freddo has teamed up with Conservation Volunteers Australia and Zoos Victoria to help educate Australians about endangered frog species, while investing $600,000 in projects to increase population numbers, as part of a long-term commitment from Freddo to look after his frog friends.
Following recent habitat loss resulting from the bushfire crisis affecting alpine regions, it’s expected that the status of these already critically endangered frog populations will deteriorate over the coming months. Frogs are particularly susceptible to the devastating effects of bushfires, as well as the long-term impact of runoff into streams and growth in predator populations.
To help people learn more about these amazing animals, the specially marked packs feature an augmented reality symbol, which gives everyone the chance to view interactive videos and fact sheets about the frogs – all they need is their smartphone.
As well as the information campaign, Cadbury proud to announce its 3-year, $600,000 commitment to support key project partners, Zoos Victoria and Conservation Volunteers Australia, to continue their important and ongoing efforts. This will include habitat restoration and animal protection projects, as well as the construction of a dedicated breeding bunker at Healesville Sanctuary.
This contribution is in addition to the $630,000 recently donated by Cadbury to Zoos Victoria, Taronga Zoo and Kangaroo island Wildlife Park in response to the bushfire crisis.
“The commitment from Cadbury will empower Zoos Victoria to implement programs aimed at immediate recovery efforts in bushfire affected areas and assess the genetic structure of the captive populations to ensure current and future breeding programs are optimised,” said Zoos Victoria Threatened Species Biologist, Deon Gilbert. “We will also aim to research the possibility of thermal adaptation to warmer sites as a response to habitat degradation, current climate and disease factors that have contributed to the species’ decline,” he continued.
Conservation Volunteers Australia will also expand their work with the Spotted Tree Frog Recovery Team to focus on reducing post-fire movement of sediment into waterways, as well as intensify its invasive trout reduction program in key habitat sites.
Katrina Watson, Marketing Manager for Cadbury Dairy Milk Freddo says, “We’re so proud to be able to work with these frog experts to deliver programs that will give these endangered species a chance to repopulate and flourish. It’s a long-term commitment to ensure the projects can deliver real outcomes for the survival of these amazing animals.”
Cadbury fans are encouraged to visit freddofriends.com and the websites of Freddo’s partners to find out more about the endangered frogs, what is being done to help save them with Freddo’s help, and what they can do to support current and future conservation efforts.