Coordinated efforts to protect endangered frogs living on fire-affected Kooragang Island have given the population a boost with the installation of six artificial ponds.

The Lower Hunter is home to a population of green and golden bell frogs, an endangered species, whose habitat was severely impacted in early 2019 following a series of fires on Kooragang Island following extended drought.

Designed to withstand drought and fire conditions, the new habitat provides almost 50,000 litres of water. It features six steel ponds embedded into the landscape and planted with a variety of native vegetation suited to the frog species.

The project – a partnership between Port of Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC) and the University of Newcastle – provides new permanent wetland habitat critical to the Kooragang population’s preservation.

Port of Newcastle Environment Sustainability and Planning Manager Jackie Spiteri said the project was an important initiative to support the frogs on port land.

“University of Newcastle researchers and HCCDC have worked to design, construct and install additional permanent wetland habitat, replacing the fire-affected ponds, in an effort to preserve a key population of this endangered frog species,” Ms Spiteri said.

“This is just one example of Port of Newcastle’s community partnerships to protect the environment and the precious biodiversity across the port’s footprint through an active approach to environmental management and sustainability.”

The project is part of Port of Newcastle’s environmental management strategy and its commitment to environmental sustainability through initiatives that protect local flora and fauna.

The Port also provides funding to University of Newcastle researchers conducting regular population monitoring and consultation on management approaches to protect this important frog species.

Port of Newcastle

Port of Newcastle is a major Australian trade gateway handling 4,600 ship movements and 171 million tonnes of cargo each year. With its annual trade worth about $25 billion to the New South Wales economy, the Port enables businesses across the state to successfully compete in international markets. With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia. As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible Port that realises its potential.

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