Scientists alarmed at discovery of sick frogs in Royal National Park near coal mine pollution - ABC News

Scientists say they have observed signs that coal pollution in the Royal National Park could be damaging the health of a native frog population.

Key points:

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority is reviewing the licence of the Metropolitan colliery at Helensburgh, south of Sydney, after coal sludge leaked into nearby waterways which flow into the Royal National Park on multiple occasions last year.

Scientists Shannon Kaiser and Chad Beranek have been surveying the health of the local frog population as part of their work analysing the impact of foreign chemicals introduced to freshwater ecosystems.

Mr Kaiser is currently completing his PhD at Macquarie University and said the pair observed green stream frogs which appeared close to death near the site of the pollution.

“We have spotted a frog which was on its back and not able to return to its feet,” Mr Kaiser said.

“That is a pretty strong indicator that the frog is close to death and is actually used as an end point for a time when you would euthanise the frog because it is obviously suffering and doesn’t have long to live.

“It is pretty alarming that is happening in sites along the Hacking River but not along any other sites where the coal sludge hasn’t been detected.”

Frogs vulnerable to pollution

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