New housing estate for endangered frog

Heavy machinery is again rumbling through an abandoned quarry south east of Nowra this time creating a housing estate for the endangered green and golden bell frog.

Local contractor engaged to shape ponds and place habitat logs, Worrigee Nature Reserve

National parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Ranger Alex Deura said once a dumping ground for illegal household rubbish the abandoned quarry in Worrigee Nature Reserve, is getting a make-over with habitat restoration works underway.

"The project started about 12 months ago converting the disused quarry into prime habitat for these beautiful frogs," Alex said.

"We had been searching for solutions to restore the disused quarry which suffered ongoing damage by unauthorised recreational vehicles and illegal rubbish dumping.

"Negotiations with the Village Building Company regarding compensatory breeding habitat for the green and golden bell frog funded the transformation of the quarry.

"Heavy machinery excavated the ponds and formed mounds. Stumps and logs were placed around the site, mounded areas mulched and low-growing native species planted," Alex said.

Team Leader, NPWS Landforms and Rehabilitation Gabriel Wilks says that techniques used to rehabilitate former Snowy Scheme quarries have been used on this project, using local knowledge and expertise.

"More work is required over the coming weeks to complete the establishment phase and while the frogs can move into their new home this winter, we should see the full potential of the site in two to three years," Gabriel said.

The green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) is a colourful and relatively large stout frog approximately 45 to 100mm in length. Its conservation status in NSW is listed Endangered with only about 50 populations recorded in New South Wales. The Worrigee/Brundee area has been a stronghold for the species.

For further information about the green and golden bell frog and reserves in the Shoalhaven, please contact the NPWS Nowra area office. Telephone 02 4428 6300.