Science

Frogs, whales and snakes created for threatened species Bake Off competition

The online contest by the Australian government was aimed at raising awareness about the country's vulnerable plants and animals.

A Bake Off-style contest in Australia aimed at raising awareness about the country’s threatened species has revealed its winner.

As we tune in every week to watch amateur bakers make delicious treats on The Great British Bake Off, on the other side of the world, the Australian government invited people across the country to take part in the Threatened Species Bake Off competition and get the nation engaged in discussions about the country’s “unique threatened wildlife species”.

The winning bake, which was announced on Facebook by Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner Dr Sally Box, was a growling grass frog made by sustainability research firm cesar and its sister organisation EnviroDNA.

Australia – the results are in! The overall winner of the 2018 Threatened Species Bake Off is the Growling Grass Frog…

Posted by Threatened Species Commissioner on Friday, September 7, 2018

The growling grass frog, which is also commonly known as the southern bell frog, is native to south-eastern Australia and considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – a global organisation that gives species their conservation status.

The results were announced to mark the Threatened Species Day on September 7.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment, which organised the contest, said: “Australia has over 1,800 threatened plants and animals.

Numbat cak.e
(Numbat by Heather Lee-Kiorgaard/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

“We have globally distinct levels of biodiversity and significantly more unique species than any other country on earth.

“The Threatened Species Bake Off is being run by Australia’s Threatened Species Commissioner as a way to raise awareness about our remarkable threatened species and the threats that they face, and get more Australians involved in protecting them.”

She added: “Few Australians know just how many of our native animals and plants are threatened.

Whale Shark.
(Whale Shark by James Clarke and Claudia Comacchio/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

“But most people like cake. Holding a nationwide Bake Off is one way that we can nudge this important issue into everyday Australians’ lives.”

The department received more than 250 entries from across the country, which involved sending photos of the baked goods accompanied by words describing why the species is threatened.

Submissions included a red-tailed black cockatoo, which won the people’s choice award, and Mount Lewis spiny crayfish, which bagged the children’s category honour.

The Threatened Species Bake Off – People's Choice Award Winner: Red-tailed Black-cockatoo – Sally Wheeler…

Posted by Threatened Species Commissioner on Friday, September 7, 2018

And here are some of the most eye-catching bakes from 2018’s Threatened Species Bake Off.

Macquarie perch

Macquarie Perch.
(Macquarie perch by Friends of Iramoo//The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Southern corroboree frog

Southern Corroboree frog.
(Southern Corroboree frog by Taronga Zoo/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Southern right whale

(Southern Right Whale by Quokka Cakes/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Eastern quoll

Eastern quoll.
(Eastern quoll by Caroline Laker/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Southern bell frog

Southern Bell Frogs.
(Southern bell frogs by Bianca Amato/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Regent honeyeater

Regent Honeyeater.
(Regent honeyeater by Jenny Gray/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Plains death adder

Plains Death Adder.
(Plains Death Adder by Alana de Laive/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Hooded plover

Hooded Plover
(Hooded plover by Blair Pellegrino/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Hairy-nosed wombats

Hairy-nosed Wombats.
(Hairy-nosed wombats by Pablo, Ida & Bonnie/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Ghost of the Great Barrier Reef

Ghost of the Great Barrier.
(Ghost of the Great Barrier Reef by Helen Hatzaras/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

Golden sun moth

Golden Sun Mothcesar.
(Golden sun moth by cesar/The Threatened Species Bake Off)

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