Developer Helps Rare Frogs Back Into The Woonona Wilds
Wednesday 18th January 2012
Michael McFadden collecting tadpoles prior to release
Michael McFadden collecting tadpoles prior to release

About 4000 Green and Golden Bell Frog tadpoles arrived at a new wild home at Woonona today thanks to a joint effort by frog specialist, Dr Arthur White, Taronga Zoo and The Village Building Co.

The frogs which have been under pressure in the wild, were bred by Taronga’s Herpetofauna keepers specially for the release into a network of purpose build frog ponds on the edge of the Edgewood development.

Dr White, a consultant biologist, said: “By introducing such large numbers, we are giving the frogs the best chance to establish themselves. When they were originally discovered on the development site, The Village Building Company worked very closely with me to get a solution which would give the frogs a good future.”

The tadpoles were put into clear plastic bags of water for the road trip from Taronga to Woonona. It took Dr White and Dr Harlow a couple of hours to catch up the tadpoles and put them in the bags.

Dr Harlow said: “It was a bit like boys going tad-poling but with a much better outcome for the frogs.

“We’re delighted with the support from The Village Building Company. This level of commitment to the local environment is an excellent example of modern companies having a conservation conscience that benefits wildlife and the community.”

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Hans Sommer, General Manager at Village Building Co. says the company is pleased to have been able to help the Green and Golden Bell Frog numbers in the area.

“This is a great day for the species, the conservation program, and everyone who has been involved,” said Mr Sommer. “All Village Building developments work hard to ensure the surrounding environments are conserved as much as possible and, where we can, Village works with local communities and groups to maintain and/or improve the habits of endangered species.”  

The Green and Golden Bell Frog is a well-known species that became famous after being found in pools at Homebush scheduled for development in preparation for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. This medium-sized frog was once one of the most common species around the Sydney area and its call was familiar to generations. In recent decades though, it has disappeared from over 90% of its former habitat, and only a few isolated populations survive today. Threats include an introduced frog disease (chytrid fungus), urbanisation and introduced predatory fish.

Taronga Zoo has been involved in the conservation of this species since 1994, with over 20,000 tadpoles and frogs released during experimental reintroductions within the greater Sydney area.

All frog species require expert care because they breathe through their skin and are very sensitive to light, heat, water quality and pollutants in the water. About 165 of the world's known amphibian species may already be extinct and another third are classified as Threatened.

Taronga’s amphibian conservation, rehabilitation, research and breeding programs also include recovery programs for the critically endangered Southern Corroboree Frog and the Booroolong Frog.  These are bred for release with the NSW Dept of Environment and Heritage staff, and a new breeding program for the recently re-discovered Yellow Spotted Bell Frog has just begun.