June-August 2010 Harm Mitigation

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June-August 2010 Harm Mitigation

Post  Amanda Cox on Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:04 pm

Road Kill Mitigation/ Harm Mitigation Minutes June July August 2010

The Society is combining road kill/ harm mitigation minutes as many of the same people work to achieve both.

6/6/10
PCI Ray Wynan from Nimmitabel discussing his road kill findings over a regular route of more than 2500km. He believes that 80% of the wombats he pulls from the road are male. He believes there are some “hot spots” where wombats are regularly hit. Ray has recorded some of this data and will enter on the Society's road kill map.
Ray would like to see better and more explicit signage and a section in the RTA manual preventing roadkill.
1/7/10

Regular readers will recall that some time ago a visitor to Mummel National Park , Jae, wrote to the Society disturbed that so many wombats were being killed by cars using the park. Lenore, the road kill mitigation coordinator wrote to Council only to discover another Council was responsible for the roads leading to the Park. So another letter as written. After no heaing for some time, Lenore persisted with yet another note to Council.

Dear Sir, 

I am writing to follow up on the letter forwarded onto your council re wombat warning signs.  The Wombat Protection Society has not had a reply from your Council and is hoping to hear from you as soon as possible. As I stated in the previous letter, many of your residents are unhappy about the amount of wombats being killed on that road and would like to see distinct wombat warning signs.  Residents would like to know that Council is concerned for the local wildlife. 
Yours faithfully,
Lenore Taylor
Wombat Protection Society of Australia
And, finally, her persistence paid off;

A win........Reg. Lenore

----- Original Message -----
From: Candice Mckenna
To: 'Lenore Taylor'
Sent: Thursday, July 01, 2010 4:02 PM
Subject: RE: Wombat Warning Signs on Mumel Gulf National Park turnoff to Port Macquarie

Hello Lenore
 
Sorry about the hold up with this request. Due to the requested signs to be erected on Oxley HWY Council need to gain permission from the RTA. Council has been given permission and the signs have been ordered.
 
Kind Regards
Candice
 
Candice Liddle
Engineering Assistant
Walcha Council
 
Ph: 02 6774 2515 Fax: 02 6777 1181
cmckenna@walcha.nsw.gov.au
This is a great achievement and hopefully will protect the Mummel Park wombats. More connections with RTA NSW are being forged with other members working to have RTA part of the 2011 Wombat Conference. By bringing together people who have the capacity to change organisations response to problems of harm, with those who want to mitigate such harm, much can be achieved. As is true of most things, the work however, doesn't stop as Lenore's follow up message indicates.


4/7/10

Hi Amanda, I have written to Jae and forwarded email to you and I sent a quick thankyou to the council. 
I have been watching a wombat hole on South Wolumla road on a dairy farm and noticed this week that it has been filled in.  I hope the wombat was not in it.  Regards Lenore

3/7/10
From Charlie Schneider (Victoria) re Roadkill local to him.Charlie wrote previously informing us of efforts in Victoria to achieve road signage. Charlie had found the local authorities helpful in getting appropriate signage up and this Snow season, has begun monitoring whether these signs are effective in reducing road deaths of wombats ( and other native animals).

Hello Amanda,

We have just come back from our Saturday morning run up the mountain to Dinner Plain looking for road kills created by the snow traffic. We found a dead male kangaroo, pulled the carcase from the road and sprayed it so that people know it has been checked.

This is the first road kill since the snow season started, and that is heartening, even though any loss of wildlife is undesirable. Maybe the new road signs are really working as we had hoped. No wombats found. The round trip is just over 100 kilometres, and it seems strange to go that distance and be pleased, even joyous, to come home with nothing at all. Just the hot water bottle, pouches etc., with which we left home.

That's great news from Victoria and again it seems to indicate that signage does have some impact on driver behaviour. Long term we need to get licensing books and all road and traffic authority information include cautionery advice about native animals and road use so drivers know how to behave when they see animal warning signs.


Most of us are aware when major projects are developed in local areas. We often don't know how to approach the relevant auhorities to ensure that such works don't impact on existing populations or create problems – for example, run through wildlife corridoors causing ongoing problems once compleed.
Lenore has also been concerned about major road works and their potential to disrupt and destroy wombat habitat. Major construction works are planned in far South NSW known as the Bega Bypass. Lenore tackled the problem this way and seems to have made inroads into being able to work with the project.

Dear Nick,
 
As a member of the Wombat Protection Society and Wires I was concerned that the new bybass will go through wombat habitat.  Has there been any consideration into this?  I know that the Princes Highway at Yellowpinch is a deathtrap for wombats as no underground tunnels were put in.  We have statistics for this area and we are very concerned that this will happen again at Bega.  If we could think about this beforehand it would save alot of our native wildlife – many of which are decreasing immensely due to our ignorance. 
 
I would appreciate a reply to this letter.
 
Yours sincerely,
Lenore Taylor
 





----- Original Message -----
From: BOYD Nick M
To: 'Lenore Taylor'
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 3:24 PM
Subject: RE: wombat protection

Dear Lenore,
Thank you for your email.
 
The RTA are currently engaging a consultant to prepare the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) for the Bega Bypass project.
A Biodiversity Assessment is currently being drafted as part of the review, and all material once drafted will be available for public review & comment once the REF is exhibited, hopefully in a few months time.
 
The REF exhibition will be advertised as the time approaches, and copies of the REF will also be placed on the project website:
http://whome.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/southcoast/begabypass.html
 
In the meantime I would be happy to review & pass on any statistics relating to wombat population that you may have for the area in question.
Please feel free to contact me by phone at any time if you would like to discuss in more detail.
 
Regards,
 
_________________________________________________
Nick Boyd
Project Development Manager
RTA Southern Regional Operations & Engineering Services


From: Lenore Taylor [mailto:vombatus@skymesh.com.au]
Sent: Friday, 27 August 2010 9:23 AM
To: BOYD Nick M
Subject: Re: wombat protection
Dear Nick,
 
I have been watching the website regarding the Bega By Pass, but as yet, nothing is coming up.  I have noticed that a large sign has been erected announcing the project on the southern side of Bega. Our organisation is  really hoping that your construction team has taken into account the amount of wildlife that descends on this valley in the evenings.  We would expect that you have taken this into account, by providing underground tunnels for wombats to pass through.  The Wombat Protection Society and many other wildlife groups in the area would prefer the entire by pass to be built above ground, similar to the new by pass between Kiama and Albion Park.
 
I know that we have come into the arena late, but as construction has not yet started, your engineers could make changes.
 
Nick, you can access our Road Deaths of Wombats by logging onto Google Maps and entering research@wombatprotection.org.au Password wombatps. 
 
I know there could be many other wildlife issues such as the Giant Burrowing Frog, but I have not seen any Environmental Impact Statement as yet. 
 
Thankyou for your time and we hope to hear some positive news soon,
 
Yours faithfully,
Lenore Taylor
Wombat Protection Society of Australia

Hi Lenore,
 
Thank you for the email and the link to your maps.
This was a function of Googlemaps that I was not previously aware of & I found your use of it very informative.
 
With regard to the REF display, you are right there has been no change on the website in recent weeks.
However there has been a lot of progress on the REF and I expect it will be put on display hopefully within a month.
Your comments have been forwarded to the environmental specialist for consideration during this process, however I would encourage you to download a copy of the REF once it is displayed to review your areas of concern.
 
As mentioned previously, we will be attending a couple of community displays in Bega during the display period.
If you are available this may be a good opportunity to discuss with us in person.
Again, details will be placed on the project website once details for display are finalised.
    http://whome.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/southcoast/princeshwy/begabypass.html
 
In the meantime please feel free to contact me by phone at any time if you would like to discuss in more detail.
 
Regards,
_________________________________________________
Nick Boyd
Project Development Manager
RTA Southern Regional Operations & Engineering Services



Wombats being in places where they aren't wanted is a continuous issue for wildlife groups and the Society. We are pleased to note that in NSW the local NPWS (DECC@W) are referring property owners to wildlife groups and to the Society for assistance, however often the “ask” is huge and the work that needs to be done to change or fix the problem costly in terms of both time and resources. Sadly, many property owners resort to a bullet to resolve the problem. This is counter productive as it will remove a territorial wombat and allow recruitment of wombats from surrounding areas which I likely to result in more digging activity not less. Lenore and Amanda recently inspected wombat burrows at a fun park, Magic Mountain, on the far South Coast of NSW. One wombat had made a great burrow running his entrance tunnel up alongside a building and then burrowing under the slab of that building. It was a lovely cosey burrow, but the park owners didn't like the pile of spoil in their garden and were concerned about the potential of the building being undermined. A second wombat had made a burrow going in under tracks of an amusement ride and had some difficulties with unstable soil so hehad a couple of long trenches dug prior to getting sufficient soil stability to hold his burrow in place. The park is surrounded by a metal postand wire fence, the bottom of whichloose allowing access and entry aroun the entire perimeter for wombats witout much challenge. The decision the park needs to make if they really want to keep wombats out of the park is how best to secure their perimeter fence.


Hallo Amanda, 
 
I have advised Magic Mountain and National Parks Merimbula of our suggestion of skirting.  Over the years, I have discovered that a simple skirt is enough.....without the electric wire.  We have this in practice at PP and have invited NP and MM to visit.  We do not have an electric fence at all at PP.  At Cowsnest we have raised the electric wire so as not to shock the wombats and there has not been a breakin either for many years. I am sure this is wombat proof. 
I am also be liasing with RTA re the Bega Bypass and have let Nick  Boyd into our road deaths of wombats map.  I hope this is OK but I felt it is better if they have access.  I will enclose his recent email.  Talk soon Lenore



Amanda Cox
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