Facilitating wildlife movements

Compton Rd fauna overpass as seen from the west

Compton Road fauna overpass in 2015 as seen from the west.

In 2015 we met PhD candidate Mel McGregor at a Karawatha Forest Protection Society meeting where she was discussing her work and research on fauna movement. Following that we commissioned Mel to produce a report in order for us to be able to scientifically back up our submission for a fauna movement solution for the Logan Motorway upgrade.  A consultative committee was formed by Transurban which included Griffith University, Karawatha Forest Protection Society and B4C.

The following report supported the eventual submission formulated by the committee, which recommended a range of different fauna movement solutions consistent with credible research.

Facilitating Wildlife Movements in South East Queensland
Scientific justification for overpass constructions at Drewvale (Logan Motorway and Gateway Arterial Motorway).

By Mel McGregor (B. Env. Sci. Hons) and Darryl Jones (PhD)
Environmental Futures Research Institute, Griffith University.

Read full report (9mb PDF)

Overpass at Bonville, NSW

Australia’s newest and widest overpass. Bonville, NSW.

Executive Summary

The current loss of natural ecosystems within South East Queensland (SEQ) is higher than ever before, making remnant corridors and natural areas irreplaceable ecological assets for the surrounding region. Continual intensive impacts from human activity, particularly associated with roads, facilitate habitat loss and landscape fragmentation which reduces population sizes and increases localised extinction.

The Flinders Karawatha Corridor is the largest remaining continuous stretch of forest in SEQ and is a significant feature of the region’s landscape, as recognised by Government planning documentation. Connectivity within the corridor must be maintained if it is to adequately facilitate the movement of wildlife and the subsistence of remnant forest within SEQ.
Currently, the presence of large roads within the Flinders Karawatha Corridor severely compromises the primary objective of maintaining the corridor for landscape connectivity. This must be rectified to protect wildlife and ensure the persistence of the flora and fauna communities which inhabit the area.

Karawatha Forest and Kuraby Bushlands are recognised as critical components of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor. Connecting Karawatha and Kuraby to the body of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor is a small expanse of remnant bushland around the suburb of Drewvale. Currently, any fauna movements between the reserve and the remnants at Drewvale are severely restricted by the intersecting presence of the Logan and Gateway Motorways. This restriction creates real problems for the safe passage of wildlife that attempts to move between Karawatha and the rest of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor.

The immediate and long term success of the Compton Road overpass is very likely to predict the success of similar structures at Drewvale. The construction and physical characteristics of the Compton Road overpass are a sound basis for further overpass construction. Therefore we recommend the following:

  • Construction of three vegetated overpasses and complementary infrastructure in the Drewvale area;
  • The overpasses follow the design and implementation of the Compton Road overpass;
  • The overpasses are of increased size (wider than Compton Road); and
  • Overpass placement is identified through fauna and road kill surveys.

Social and financial benefits of reconnecting Drewvale:

  • Encouraging wildlife away from housing areas;
  • Reduction of road kill and fauna-related accidents;
  • Improved lifestyle and positive contribution of increased greenspace;
  • Overpasses display government contributions publicly;
  • Removing the chance of lost revenue from investing in a fragmented corridor; and
  • Preservation of natural areas.

Outcomes:

  • Far greater connectivity for the northern end of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor;
  • Ensure long term persistence of Karawatha Forest and Kuraby Bushlands; and
  • Integrate Drewvale forested areas into the corridor as functional refuges.
Hamilton Road fauna overpass, Brisbane

Hamilton Road fauna overpass in Northern Brisbane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *