Sydney Olympic Park supports a rich natural environment that includes over 250 native animal species, over 400 native plant species and three endangered ecological communities.

Biodiversity at the Park

Sydney Olympic Park supports a rich natural environment that includes over 250 native animal species, over 400 native plant species and three endangered ecological communities. 

The high ecological values of the Park have resulted in 304 hectares (nearly half of the Park) being zoned under NSW planning legislation for environmental conservation and management.

Key habitats include: estuarine and freshwater wetlands, remnant eucalypt forest, saltmarsh meadows woodland bird habitats (Double Barred Finch image above photo credit: Nevil Lazarus)

The Park’s habitats are a restored landscape, and demonstrate the positive ecological outcomes that can be achieved when conservation works are integrated with development. The natural environments of the Park: 

  • support a rich natural heritage, valuable in its own right 
  • enrich visitor experience by providing opportunities to connect with nature 
  • provide a living classroom for environmental education programs, and 
  • attract businesses and residents seeking proximity to nature.

Biodiversity publications

Ecological research and investigations conducted by Authority staff and independent researchers are published in scientific journals and elsewhere. Publications are available were possible, however copyright restrictions do apply for certain publications – they may be sourced through the respective journal publisher or through university libraries.

Staff publications

Staff publications
  • Darcovich K. and O’Meara J. (2008) An Olympic legacy: Green and Golden Bell Frog conservation at Sydney Olympic Park 1993–2006. Australian Zoologist 34(3), pp236–248.

  • Darcovich K (2008) Biodiversity management programs at Sydney Olympic Park Ecological Management & Restoration 9(2) s3.21.  pp148-150

  • Kay S (2004) Wastelands to Wetlands: saltmarsh conservation at Sydney Olympic Park. Australian Plant Conservation Vol 13(3) pp12-13

  • O’Meara J. and Darcovich K. (2008) Manipulation of water levels for the control of Gambusia. Australian Zoologist 34(3), 285– 290.

  • O’Meara J and Darcovich K. (2015) Integrating restoration and rehabilitation within an urban landscape. Ecological Management and Restoration  16(1), 14-28

  • O’Meara J and Jack A (2012) Measuring success in endangered species management, the Brickpit, Sydney Olympic Park 2006-2011. Australasian Plant Conservation 20(5), 20-22

  • O’Meara J et al (2011)Sydney Olympic Park Biodiversity.Newsletter of the Cumberland Bird Observers Club 33(1)

  • Paul S. (2013) (Editor and Chapters author) Workbook for managing urban wetlands in Australia. Sydney Olympic Park Authority, pp. 430.

  • Paul S. (2008) Challenges in managing the urban wetlands within Sydney Olympic Park. In: Constructed Wetlands. J Kandaswamy & S Vigneswaram (eds). Nova Publications, NY

  • Paul S (2014) ;Successful rehabilitation of a Waterbird Refuge. Wetlands Australia. National wetlands update February 2014—Issue No 24 Australian Government, Department of Environment.  Pp37-38

  • Paul S. and Hsu T. (2013) Horned Pondweed at Sydney Olympic Park. Australian Plant Conservation, 21(3): 31-33.

  • Paul S and Farran M. (2009) Experimental and field regeneration of coastal saltmarsh within Sydney Olympic Park. Wetlands (Australia), 25(2): 38-54.

  • Paul S., Young R. and MacKay A. (2007) Experimental control of Juncus acutus. Wetlands (Australia), 24(2): 90-104.

  • Paul S and Young R. (2006) Experimental control of Juncus acutus. Wetlands (Australia), 23(2): 1-13.

External publications

  • Blanche M (2000) New habitat for Green and Golden Bell Frog, Brickpit. Landscape Australia Vol 22(3)  pp230-231

  • Bower D. S., Stockwell M. P., Pollard C. al. (2012) Life stage specific variation in the occupancy of ponds by Litoria aurea, a threatened amphibian. Austral Ecology 38, pp543–547.

  • Bower DS, Pickett EJ, Stockwell MP, Pollard CJ, Garnham JI, Sanders MR (2014) Evaluating monitoring methods to guide adaptive management of a threatened amphibian (Litoria aurea) Ecology and Evolution 4(8), pp1361-1368

  • Bower D, Pickett E, Garnham J, Deboo M, McCurry M, Mengerink R… (2014) Diet of a threatened pond frog differs over a small spatial scale Endangered Species Research

  • Mahony MJ, Hamer AJ, Pickett EJ, McKenzie DJ, Stockwell MP Garnham JI, Keely CC, L Deboo M, O'Meara J, Pollard CJ, Clulow S, Lemckert FL, BowerDS, Clulow J (2013) Identifying conservation and research priorities in the face of uncertainty: a review of the threatened bell frog complex in eastern Australia. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 8(3), pp519-538

  • Muir G (2008) Design of a movement corridor for the Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea at Sydney Olympic Park. Australian Zoologist 4(3), pp297-302.

  • NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change (2008) Protecting and restoring Green and Golden Bell Frog habitat.

  • Penman T et al (2008) Impact of a chytrid mortality event on a population of Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea Australian Zoologist 4(3), pp314-318.

  • Pickett E, Stockwell M, Pollard CJ, Garnham J, Clulow J, Mahony M (2012) Estimates of sex ratio require the incorporation of unequal catchability between sexes. Wildlife Research 39 (4), pp350-354

  • Pickett J. E., Stockwell M. P., Bower D. S. et al. (2013b) Six year demographic study reveals threat of stochastic extinction for remnant populations of a threatened amphibian. Austral Ecology 39, pp244–253.

  • Pickett EJ, Stockwell MP, Bower DS, Garnham JI, Pollard CJ, Clulow J (2013) Achieving no net loss in habitat offset of a threatened frog required high offset ratio and intensive monitoring. Biological Conservation 157, pp156-162

  • Threlfall C et al (2008) Do Green and Golden Bell Frogs Litoria aurea occupy sites with antifungal properties? Australian Zoologist 34(3)pp350-360.


  • Turton, M (2010) Monitoring a maternity colony of White-striped Free-tailed Bats (Tadarida australis) in a building. Australasian Bat Society newsletter (34)

  • Turton, M., and G. Hoye. (2011) The use of a building for breeding by the white-striped freetail-bat Tadarida australis at Newington, Sydney. New South Wales. In: Law, B., Eby, P., Lunney, D., Lumsden, LF (Eds.), The Biology and Conservation of Australasian Bats. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman: 460-463

  • Turton M (2012) Impact of light at a Tadarida austalisroost entrance, Australian Bat Society Journal, Vol 39, p14


  • NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change (2008) Best practice guidelines for coastal saltmarsh.

  • Sommerville, K., et al.(2012), Reproductive biology of a threatened Australian saltmarsh plant – Wilsoniabackhousei Aquatic Botany,doi:10.1016/j.aquabot.2011.12.010

  • Sommerville K, Rossetto M, Pulkownik A (2013) Maximising adaptive potential in translocated populations of clonal saltmarsh plants: a case study on Wilsoniabackhousei, Convolvulaceae. Wetlands Ecology and Management 21(3)

  • Webb C (2011) Observations on the foraging behaviour of the introduced honeybee Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on the saltmarsh plant Sarcocornia quinqueflora t Sydney Olympic Park. Australian Zoologist 35(3) pp884-887


  • Jansen C et al (2009) Blood Sources of Mosquitoes Collected from Urban and Peri-Urban Environments in Eastern Australia with Species-Specific Molecular Analysis of Avian Blood Meals. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 81(5), pp. 849–857

  • Kassim N, Webb C, & Russell R (2011) Culex molestus Forskal (Diptera: Culicidae) in Australia: colonisation, stenogamy, autogeny, oviposition and larval development. Australian Journal of Entomology 834 1..11

  • Manning T, Ross G, Symons R (2008) Environmental contaminants found in White-bellied Sea-eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) found in Sydney, Australia. Australasian Journal of Ecotoxicology. Vol 14 pp 21-30

  • Olympic Coordination Authority 1996. Homebush Bay Ecological studies 1993-1995 Volume 1. CSIRO

  • Olympic Coordination Authority 1996. Homebush Bay Ecological studies 1993-1995 Volume 2. CSIRO


Ecological legacy book

20 Years of Healing: Delivering the Ecological Legacy of the Green Games brings to you 20 years into a 100-year plus restoration project at Sydney Olympic Park. In this book park managers, researchers and citizen scientists reveal how adaptive management has been applied to the challenges of nature conservation in the city.

The rewilding of Sydney Olympic Park’s green spaces has forged new paths in ecological restoration, and resulted in a thriving ecological oasis within a developing urban growth area. 20 Years of Healing covers a wide spectrum of topics including frog conservation, woodland birds, artificial hollows, microbats, estuarine wetland management, light spill and bird and reptile monitoring. 

We hope the insights gained at Sydney Olympic Park can be applied to ecological projects at other locations around the world, as we strive to live in harmony with nature. Download your free copy below:

Green frog at Sydney Olympic Park

Flora and fauna

The Park's rich biodiversity includes over 400 native plant species and over 250 native animal species.
Learn more
Green frog at Sydney Olympic Park

Species list

Learn more about the species that inhabit the Park through research and information.
Learn more