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Sydney Ports – Protecting Endangered Wildlife at Enfield

golden bell frogThe Green and Golden Bell Frog was once one of the most common frog species on Australia’s south-eastern coast, thriving in large, permanent, open-water swamps or ponds that have a variable water level and dense surrounding vegetation.

However, in recent times factors such as habitat loss and introduced predators have seen their populations decline to the point where they are now listed nationally as vulnerable and in NSW as endangered.

Plans for the Sydney Olympics site at Homebush were amended when the frogs were discovered there, leading to the relocation of the tennis courts and the establishment of new habitats for the frogs.

(Pictured right: The Enfield-Chullora site showing habit areas, frog corridors and ponds.)

Now, with small numbers of the Green and Golden Bell Frog known to be in the Enfield-Greenacre area, just south of Homebush, similar protection efforts are being incorporated into construction of Sydney Ports’ Intermodal Logistics Centre.

Working with the wetland management and restoration group Dragonfly Environmental, Sydney Ports is establishing and will be responsible for managing, a two hectare habitat of ponds, foraging areas, shelters and corridors designed as a refuge for frogs migrating to and around the Enfield-Greenacre area.

Sydney Ports Senior Project Manager, Bruce Royds says the development of the Frog Habitat Creation Area (FHCA) at Enfield will greatly assist in the conservation of Green and Golden Bell Frog populations.

“Sydney Ports has worked closely with experts in the field to develop a habitat management plan designed to ensure optimum water levels in the ponds, that the surrounding environment is kept free of weeds and unwanted vegetation and that frog movement corridors are maintained to encourage interconnectivity between colonies,” Mr Royds said.

“Secure breeding sites for the frogs are scarce, so we are establishing an environment that will mimic, as closely as possible, their natural habitat.”

“A critical part of this process will include artificially raising and lowering water levels in the ponds to emulate nature’s sporadic rainfall and the resulting cycles of full water and drying out.”

“Ultimately, we are working to create a habitat for the Green and Bell frogs that will encourage breeding, foster survival and see their numbers in the Enfield-Greenacre area increase to the point where natural migration patterns in and around the site are re-established and become the norm.”

habitat cronulla habitat cronulla 1 habitat cronulla 2

Cronulla Industrial Estate for Australand 2006-2007. Bitou bush and other noxious and environmental weeds were eradicated from works site. Works included planting of 330,000 plants in stormwater detention facilities and on dune areas. Works included creation of Green and Golden Bell Frog Habitat at the site. Work was completed within 2 months to specifications and within budget.

GGBF habitat enfield DFE

Enfield

Dragonfly Environmental wetland management and restoration groupis working for Sydney Ports in establishing and managing, a two hectare habitat of ponds, foraging areas, shelters and corridors designed as a refuge for frogs migrating to and around the Enfield-Greenacre area.

Dragonfly Environmental planted the Frog breeding areas (designed by Arthur White) and is continuing to maintain the habitat areas. It’s a great project and the Dragonfly Team are proud to be caring for such important habitat.