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Veolia helps bring endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs home after 30 years

The program - carried out in partnership with Symbio Wildlife Park at Helensburgh, and Veolia - operates at the Sydney Desalination Plant.

Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP), in collaboration with environmental solutions provider Veolia, has celebrated a milestone achievement, reintroducing the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs return to their native habitat after a three-decade absence.

SDP on the Kurnell Peninsula is the new home for hundreds of endangered green and golden bell frogs (Litoria aurea). More than 1,000 tadpoles have been introduced to the Plant’s site, which includes a 15-hectare Conservation Area that connects to Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

The tadpoles were produced as part of an overarching breed-to-release program that was planned and developed based on scientific advice from Dr Arthur White. The program is carried out in partnership with Symbio Wildlife Park at Helensburgh, and Veolia, which operates SDP.

The program aims to reintroduce the believed to be geographically extinct native species to the Kurnell Peninsula where they were once common and forms an important part of SDP’s environmental conservation work.

Veolia and Symbio will be responsible for the day-to-day care of the tadpoles and young frogs, which are being monitored to help assess the re-created habitat and will provide regular reports on the frogs to the NSW Government Local Land Services, which has provided a grant to assist with the program.

Veolia staff built special tadpole ‘nurseries’ that include tanks filled with freshwater and saltwater. The freshwater tanks allow the tadpoles to grow in their infancy, while the saltwater tanks are designed to protect adolescent frogs by reducing the risk of disease.

Once the tadpoles mature into frogs, it is intended that they will use the Plant’s 15-hectare Conservation Area to establish a breeding colony and help repopulate the peninsula.

Daniel Spiller, Veolia’s Chief Operation Officer for Water, said the initiative highlights the ongoing commitment to promoting environmental sustainability and protecting biodiversity. He commented:

“Green and golden bell frogs are an iconic species that are integral to the health of our local ecosystems,” he said.

“This collaboration is an exciting step forward in their rehabilitation and a great example of how we bring about sustainability, environmental and ecological improvements at the same time.”


  • The green and golden bell frog was the first species listed as threatened in NSW.
  • The species was the first frog encountered on arrival at Botany Bay in 1770 by Captain James Cook’s party.
  • Green and golden bell frogs were last spotted on the Kurnell Peninsula 28 years ago.
  • The species was once common to the Kurnell Peninsula, but the populations have declined due to habitat loss, disease and predation by introduced species.
  • The tadpole breeding program comes less than a year after 800 native eucalypt trees were planted on the SDP site to help feed a colony of koalas at Symbio Wildlife Park.

Source: Veolia

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