Sydney Desalination Plant helps bring endangered Green and Golden Bell Frogs home after 30 years

The Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) on the Kurnell Peninsula is the new home for hundreds of endangered green and golden bell frogs (Litoria aurea) – nearly three decades after they were last spotted in the area.

More than 1,000 tadpoles have been introduced to the Plant’s site, which includes a 15- hectare conservation area and adjoins Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

The tadpoles were produced as part of an overarching breed-to-release program developed in partnership with Symbio Wildlife Park, at Helensburgh, South of Sydney, 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.

Symbio and Veolia will be responsible for the day-to-day care of the tadpoles and provide regular reports on the frogs’ rehabilitation progress. SDP has 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 the 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 conversation area to establish a breeding colony and help repopulate the peninsula. SDP’s Chief Executive Philip Narezzi said the Plant is proud to support this important initiative to reintroduce the species to Sydney’s Kurnell Peninsula.

“Green and golden bell frogs used to frequent the area, but they haven’t been spotted in decades,” he said.

“We believe that this collaboration will not only make a meaningful contribution to the conservation of the green and golden bell frog but raise awareness about this species and the importance of preserving our natural habitats ... As a key member of the local community, we are committed to protecting the environment
and the wildlife that call it home.”

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

"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.”

Managing Director of Symbio Wildlife Park Matt Radnidge said: "The green and golden bell frog was the first species ever listed as threatened in NSW. Ironically enough, it was also the first frog encountered on arrival at Botany Bay in 1770 by Captain James Cook’s party ... When they first landed in Botany Bay and went in search of water, they discovered a vivid green and gold coloured frog – what we now know as the green and golden bell frog ... They have a rich history that is intrinsically linked to our region, and that’s why it’s crucial that we partner with organisations like the Sydney Desalination Plant to safeguard the future of this iconic Australian species ... We look forward to seeing first-hand the positive impact this program will have on the local ecosystem.”


  • 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.


Further Reading

Learn more about our desalination services, such as those found at Kurnell. 

Read about Veolia's continued commitment to sustainability.

Sydney Water Corporation

Learn more about Sydney Water, one of our partners in this rehabilitation program. 


Skye McParland, Head of Communications | +61 0427 319 881 | [email protected]

Veolia Group aims to become the benchmark company for ecological transformation. Present on 5 continents with nearly 220,000 employees, the group designs and deploys useful, practical solutions for the management of water, waste and energy that are contributing to a radical turnaround of the current situation. Through its 3 complementary activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, to preserve available resources and to renew them. In 2021, the Veolia Group provided 79 million inhabitants with drinking water and 61 million with sanitation, produced nearly 48 million megawatt hours of energy and recovered 48 million tonnes of waste. Veolia Environment (Paris Euronext: VIE) achieved consolidated revenue of 28.508 billion euros in 2021.