Protecting native flora and fauna is a key priority for this project. This underpins the draft vision and principles for the site renewal presented to the community.
We’ve conducted detailed ecological assessments to ensure native plants and animals are protected throughout the rehabilitation process. This includes vegetation and wildlife ecology assessments, with a focus on birdlife studies – recognising the pine trees have become an important habitat for some bird species.
Flora and fauna assessments identified a small number of active and inactive bird nesting sites and pine seeds being used as a food source. We have maintained all nest trees and buffer areas.
Around two thirds of the pines have been retained to provide bird habitat until more native trees are established across the balance of the site. (No further tree removal will now be undertaken unless trees are considered a public safety hazard).
Wedge-tailed eagle management plan
We are excited that a wedge-tailed eagle nest was identified on the south boundary of the site. No pine tree removal has occurred in this area. We are in the process of engaging a specialist consultant to undertake a separate wedge-tailed eagle management plan for the site, to ensure these birds are protected during the basin removal phase.
Existing wetland areas will also be protected, and waterway health will be at the centre of design work that will see the natural alignment of Yarram Creek restored. To this end, we have also engaged an ecologist to work with our engineers to ensure the basin removal and the creek form achieve the best environmental outcomes, including creating habitats that best support avian (bird) and aquatic wildlife.
You can read more about the ecological assessments undertaken in the early stage of our planning via the reports in the Document Library on the right-hand side of this web page.
We will keep the community updated as we learn more from the ecologists.