Making Way for Frogs
Posted October 06, 2000
This fall, Sydney, Australia hosted the 2000 Summer Olympic Games. City officials spent years planning this major event. Much time was spent developing new venues for the various
sporting events, coordinating transportation, and making sure that the communications in the Olympic Village could handle all the expected traffic.
Plans for the tennis venue in an area of Homebush Bay that was once a brickpit were put on hold in the early 1990s because a rare species of frog, the green and gold
bell frog was found living there. The green and golden bell frog was once plentiful throughout Australia, but are now on the endangered species list, and the brickpit was one of their
The green and gold bell frog lives in wetlands and are very mobile. These frogs had vanished from most of its range during the past 20 years and are now restricted
to about 50 coastal locations, many of which are in the Sydney metropolitan area. These frogs have been known to travel as much as a kilometer in a day, looking for food. Because these
frogs move around so much, there was a very real danger that pedestrians and vehicles would run them over if a venue was built in the brickpit.
To solve the problem, Olympic organizers built special underpasses and fences that would allow the frogs to move safely around the Olympic Park. This solution turned
out to be incredibly successful as the frogs could be found throughout the Olympic Village during the course of the games.
This is not the only example of how the Sydney Olympic officials made sure the 2000 Summer Games would be known as the "Green Games." In fact, when the city made its
bid to host the games, it included a special "commitment to the environment."
After winning the bid, the city made sure it protected the habitats of animals and plants where the games would be held. Other initiatives included using recycled
materials in construction and providing environmentally friendly energy systems.
Use the Internet to learn more about the steps taken to protect the environment during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Write an entry in your Science Journal that
explains the importance of conservation during an event like this.
- The Official Site of the Sydney 2000 Games.
"Sydney." National Geographic Magazine. August 2000. Pages 7-25.