Monitoring native animal habitats in Wangaratta, Tallarook and Broadford

ARTC will be looking for native animals and checking recently drilled bore holes in coming weeks as part of a series of ecological surveys for the Tottenham to Albury Inland Rail project in Victoria.

Close up of an owl

Teams of two ecologists will be assessing habitats and monitoring populations of owls, squirrel gliders and brush-tailed phascogales in the Wangaratta, Tallarook and Broadford areas. Groundwater specialists will be also take readings from the drilled boreholes. 

Environment Manager Marisa Feher explained the data from ecology surveys will inform part of an environmental report, which is a condition set by the Minister for Planning in lieu of completing an Environmental Effects Statement.  

“Locals may see ecologists using a range of monitoring equipment, including cameras and recordings of an owl call as they walk through sites over the next few weeks,” Ms Feher said.  

“We may need to access local property for up to an hour during these surveys and we are notifying residents in advance if access is required.” 

Groundwater data will be used to inform the project’s Planning Scheme Amendment application. 

“We want to demonstrate to the Minister for Planning that we are committed to preparing project areas to protect ecological habitats in advance of construction starting,” Ms Feher said. 

Importantly, all investigation teams will actively implementing social distancing procedures, in line with the Victorian guidelines, while completing the surveys.

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