Translocations involving the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea have been under way in the Greater Sydney area since 1993. Case studies for four of these translocations are presented; the translocation sites being at Botany, Marrickville, Long Reef and Arncliffe. Bell frogs have persisted at only one of these sites since their introduction (Arncliffe).
The success or failure of each translocation has provided insights into the habitat requirements and management of bell frogs. In unsuccessful translocations, the reasons for the inability to establish a permanent population became more apparent with monitoring; at Botany, young bell frogs failed to survive the winter because of inadequate or inappropriate over-winter habitat being available; at Long Reef, foraging and breeding habitat were inadequate; at Marrickville, urban predators and disease eliminated frogs. Other factors also appear to have a significant effect on the likely outcome of the translocation. These include: the proximity of a source population, the presence or absence of predatory fish, pond water temperature and the timing of the release of tadpoles at translocation sites.
Despite the difficulties and uncertainties associated with habitat creation and the establishment of translocated frogs, translocations remain as a last resort strategy for the conservation of frog populations that may otherwise be lost.