Project: Rio Tinto Coal Australia, QLD Offset Holdings
2012 – 2013
Ausecology provided fauna surveys and trapping to Rio Tinto Coal Australia (RTCA), as part of the environmental monitoring program in place on RTCAs Queensland offset holdings, located in Arcadia Valley and Clermont, Queensland and which total more than 2,000 hectares.
Information collected as part of these baseline fauna surveys can be used to support vegetation and habitat monitoring to demonstrate medium and long term progress towards offset area targets under the approved Offset Vegetation Management Plans (VMPs).
The surveys incorporated over 940 trap-nights using pitfall traps, Elliot traps, funnel traps, cage traps and hair tubes, as well as active searches, diurnal and nocturnal surveys, anabat recordings and motion-sensor infrared photography. The surveys detected 132 native species on the Clermont offset property Clermont and 65 native species on the Arcadia Valley offset property.
Significant species relevant to state and federal environmental legislation that were detected during the surveys include:
- koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) listed as Vulnerable under the Environment Conservation and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act;
- little pied bat (Chalinolobus picatus) listed as Near Threatened under the Nature Conservation (NC) Act;
- cotton pygmy goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) listed as Near Threatened under the NC Act;
- golden-tailed gecko (Strophurus taenicauda), listed as Near threatened under the NC Act;
- eastern great egret (Ardea modesta) listed as migratory/marine under the EPBC Act and is on the Jamba and Camba list.
Sites within the offset areas that were most severely degraded tended to return lower species diversity and abundance than sites with more intact habitat features. Ongoing surveys will demonstrate whether the diversity and abundance of native species increases in response to restoration works planned for these degraded areas over the term of the offset management agreement.