Joint media release: Bushfire recovery breeding new hope on NSW South Coast

1 November 2021

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment
Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Senator for NSW


A new generation of turtles and frog species are preparing for their return to the wild as part of the Morrison Government’s ongoing $200 million bushfire recovery efforts for native species and habitat.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley has visited Symbio Wildlife Park in Helensburgh to see how new turtle and frog breeding facilities are boosting numbers of species heavily impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, with the hope that these survivors will soon be released into the wild. 

Minister Ley said Symbio Wildlife Park is part of network of captive breeding programs initiated through the Morrison Government’s bushfire response.

“We are proud to have funded the expansion of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle breeding facility here at the park, as well as new Stuttering Frog and Manning River Helmeted Turtle facilities which are currently under construction,” Minister Ley said. 

“Captive breeding under this program is helping to establish insurance populations for these three precious species and increase numbers that will ultimately be rehomed back into the wild. 

“This is just one of many initiatives across the country being funded as part of our investment in wildlife rescue, wildlife care and captive breeding of bushfire-affected species.

“Fire-affected species across Australia also continue to be supported by activities including feral animal and weed control, erosion management, Indigenous fire and land management, habitat restoration and protection of refuges.”

Senator for NSW Concetta Fierravanti-Wells said seeing new populations of species like the Stuttering Frog, which were once common on the South Coast, will be a welcome sight for bushfire-affected communities.

“It is exciting that the populations of these two high priority turtles and the Stuttering Frog will now have a better chance at recovering from the Black Summer bushfires thanks to this work and funding,” Senator Fierravanti-Wells said.   

“Symbio Wildlife Park is an accredited family-owned business with substantial experience in successfully delivering species conservation programs, and I look forward to seeing the great work under this program continue.”

Find out more about bushfire recovery for wildlife and their habitat: https://www.awe.gov.au/environment/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery