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A little furniture goes a long way for wildlife

The “refurbishment” of an underground wildlife passage at Wentworth Falls has gone a long way to securing the safety of native species in the area.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services worked with Roads and Maritime Services, DownerMouchael Joint Venture and Narla Environmental to redevelop the wildlife underpass after monitoring found native animals were not using the structure as first anticipated.

Greater Sydney Senior Land Services officer Peter Ridgeway saw an opportunity to upgrade the structure using roadside fencing, suitable refuges and 'furniture' such as logs to encourage wildlife use.

“Wildlife crossing structures are increasingly being installed during road upgrades across NSW and as more crossing structures are installed our knowledge on how best to maximize their ecological function is continually improving. To date there has been little consideration to improving existing structures with this new knowledge,” he said.

“This particular wildlife underpass was installed near Wentworth Falls in 2014 in response to identification of the site as a roadkill hostpot for the vulnerable Spotted-tailed Quoll. However six months of monitoring showed no native animal activity.”

Mr Ridgeway said the refurbishment saw the installation of a continuous log platform running the length of the corridor and linking to woody debris added to nearby habitat as well as works to improve the natural soil floor.

“Since installation the underpass has been used by a number of native species including the Common Wombat, native reptiles, and native microbat species,” he said.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services will continue to monitor the underpass with the hope that over time it will function as a link for Quolls and other terrestrial wildlife between the Northern and Southern Blue Mountains World Heritage area.

The project was made possible through funding from the NSW Government’s Catchment Action program.

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755