Species and region-specific methodology
When our client was granted environmental approval to develop the Gudai-Darri Iron Ore Mine, they needed an experienced team to help ensure they met their environmental commitments. Our work? Annual monitoring surveys of vulnerable species at the site. Specifically, we were monitoring the threatened northern quoll and Pilbara leaf-nosed bat and determining if there were any impacts associated with the development of the project.
We built a robust dataset that could be used as a baseline of species abundance at the site, and this information could then be used to determine if abundance changes were related to the project. We used mark recapture techniques to monitor northern quolls as well as motion sensor cameras, and Pilbara leaf-nosed bats were monitored using echolocation recorders placed at the entrances to caves. The survey work is challenging as the location is exceptionally hot—regularly exceeding 40ºC (104ºF)—in steep terrain, and access to remote areas is only possible via helicopter.
Our work in the area helps our client meet their environmental commitments and the constant refinement of the program to adapt and minimise potential impacts to these species. We identified appropriate reference sites so that any future fluctuations can be compared against natural variability in regional populations in response to environmental factors such as drought—helping us play a role in protect these vulnerable species.
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