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FAUNA OF THE CSG PIPELINE ROUTE

birding striated thornbill bandybandy

(1)Marg and Jeff helping with birding survey on Jan and Ken Drynan's property, by the upper reaches of Running Creek
(2)striated thornbill on Jan and Ken Drynan's property close to the pipeline
(3)bandybandy crossing the Lions Road pipeline route a few km south of the border


Scenic Rim Wildlife members and other volunteers have been conducting wildlife surveys along the proposed CSG pipeline route.
If you would like to join in future surveys, please contact Ronda on scenicrim@wildlife.org.au

Plans are fairly loose, but the important thing is repeatability for each site (it doesn't matter so much if methods are not identical between sites, what is important is that the same method can be repeated at the same site at different times), either if this pipeline does go through (which we hope it doesn't) or for monitoring other changes if other developments happen in the future:

  • choose a section of pipeline to survey
  • visit the same spot several times (at least 5 times if possible) and record time of day (early morning, late afternoon and early evening are generally best)
  • record approximately how much time you spent there
  • ideally have at least three people so there are witnesses to say you really did the survey (even if they are not experts on the identification of animals)
  • record every vertebrate animal seen or heard and any invertebrates of interest (e.g. butterflies, king crickets): if you can't identify it photograph it if possible and give a description. Remember it is not just about endangered species but maintaining a healthy ecological community of native species, and the decline of common species is also of concern - they may for instance be pollinators or seed dispersers of some of the rarer plants, or may be an indication that all is not well with particular groups of species including some we weren't able to detect
  • take photos of as many of the animals as you can, including some long shots to show that it really was in the place you said it was (cameras with GPS readings built in are useful!)
  • send details to me to record on the Scenic Rim Wildlife database and our website (we won't be putting exact locations on the website), plus any photos you'd like to appear on the website
This will:
  • give us a baseline from which to monitor changes by repeat visits to the same sites at same time of day after construction begins
  • give us a similar baseline if (as we hope) the pipeline never happens but other things do some time in the future (massive vegetation clearing nearby, aerial spraying .....?)
  • add to our arguments for more stringent controls during construction, such as constructing temporary wildlife-proof fences to avoid animals falling into the trenches (as thousands have in other regions)
  • add to our arguments for more effort at habitat restoration and mitigation of habitat loss (e.g. erecting glider poles for animals to cross the 30m width that is to be cleared for most of the pipeline's length, corridors of undergrowth and new trees in strategic places to cross the same, logs and nesting boxes to compensate for the loss of old trees and fallen branches.
  • add to our arguments that the pipeline is not appropriate in at east the more biodiverse parts of our region, because of habitat loss and fragmentation, excessive water usage if fracking is to occur at feeder stations along the pipeline, and danger of contamination of water sources
Finding species of significance of course would be of great interest, but a diverse community of species feeding in different ways (i.e. ground-fossicking insect-eaters, canopy-fossicing insect-eaters, seed-eaters, nectar-eaters, carnivores, scavengers) is also important, and changes to such assemblages can indicate early signs of trouble.

We have sent the following queries to Metgasco (the company which intends constructing the pipeline) on 11th February 2012, but have yet to receive a reply:

Dear Sirs

The members of Scenic Rim WIldlife are concerned about a number of factors regarding wildlife and the construction of the Lions Road CSG pipeline (which happens to run through one of Australia's biodiversity 'hotspots')

  1. Will it actually be just a pipeline or is there likely to be a number of feeder stations constructed along this route (either by Matgasco or other companies)?
  2. How do you propose to cross the creeks in a way that will ensure the pipeline is not damaged and also protect the integrity of the creek and adjacent vegetation? Those of us living in southeast Queensland know how dramatically the waters of Christmas Creek, Running Creek and others are hurtled down the valleys, uprooting trees, tossing large boulders along, destroying bridges and roads etc. Damage to the pipeline is something your company surely does not want, and such damage could also pollute the water throughout the rest of the catchment. If tunnelling under the creek, do you propose to somehow divert the course of the creek while doing so, and how? How much riparian vegetation will be removed during the construction?
  3. Many thousands of animals have been falling into trenches in other parts of Queensland where such pipelines are laid. Many have been rescued: many haven't. Are you intending to erect temporary wildlife-proof fences along each side of the trenches, especially at night and especially in localities of very high biodiversity such as the border region of NSW and Qld? Will spotter-catchers be employed to rescue animals throughout construction?
  4. Will the pond opposite the turnoff to the Border Loop (Lions Road, NSW) currently so rich in froglife, and which appears to be the point at which the pipeline actually joins Lions Road, be drained or otherwise affected during the construction?
  5. What happens re habitat restoration after the laying of the pipeline? We have heard that everything will be cleared to a width of 30m, except for the section of Lions Road adjoining the Border Ranges National Park. This will interfere with the natural movement of wildlife apart from those species which are strong fliers or comfortable traveling across open, altered landscapes (very many species do not fall into either group). National Parks and other conservation areas provide essential protection, but many species need to move across boundaries (finding food, genetic interchange, seeking new territories, regular migrations, nomadism etc.). Will wildlife corridors be re-established at multiple points along this route? Do you have any provisions in the interim to assist animal movement during construction (e.g. glider poles, or leaving some habitat strips crossing the pipeline)?
  6. Has an extensive fauna survey been conducted? Environmental consultancies often result in very inadequate information because they are conducted over only a few days and often in one season. Scenic Rim Wildlife holds some information on local wildlife and links to others which could be of assistance here in working out a plan to minimize disruption, but we suspect that there is much relevant information yet to be gleaned.
  7. Has the IUCN been notified about the pipeline passing through World Heritage forests?
  8. Approximately how long will it take to construct each km of pipeline?
Yours sincerely

Ronda Green, BSc(Hons)PhD
Chair, Scenic Rim Wildlife (Scenic Rim branch of Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld) http://scenicrim.wildlife.org.au/

For further information relevant to wildlife and coal seam gas, please visit:
http://wildlifetourism.org.au/discussions/threats-to-australian-wildlife/coal-seam-gas-and-australian-wildlife/


Animals seen so far on our fauna surveys (further details available from Ronda Green, and to be published here later)

Mammals
koala Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
greater glider Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
sugar glider Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
yellow-bellied glider - Lions Rd, Border Loop area
grey-headed fruitbat Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
red-necked wallaby Lions Rd -Qld, and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
northern brown bandicoot Lions Rd -Qld

Birds - passerines
eastern bristlelbird - exact location not revealed, as we wish to protect them from disturbance
bell miner Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
brown thornbill Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
striated thornbill upper Running Creek
figbird Lions Rd -Qld
olive-backed oriole Lions Rd -Qld
striated pardalote Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
grey fantail Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
willy wagtail Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
superb fairy-wren Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and Lions Rd Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
grey shrikethrush Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
large-billed scrubwren Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
white-browed scrubwren Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
eastern yellow robin Lions Rd -Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
yellow-faced honeyeater Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
white-throated honeyeater upper Running Creek
Lewin's honeyeater Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and Lions Rd Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
noisy miner Lions Rd -Qld
pied currawong Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park, Lions Rd Qld and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
Autralian magpie Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
grey butcherbird Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
pied butcherbird upper Running Creek
magpielark Lions Rd -Qld
eastern whipbird Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
white-throated gerygone Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and Lions Rd Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
noisy pitta Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
paradise riflebird Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
satin bowerbird Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and Lions Rd Qld - crossiing pipeline route
red-browed finch Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
Torresian crow Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
welcome swallow Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek

Birds- nonpasseines
Boobook owl Lions Rd -Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
forest kingfisher Lions Rd -Qld and NSW - adjacent to pipeline route
Laughing kookaburra Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
Dollarbird Lions Rd -Qld
brown cuckoodove Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
bar-shouldered dove Lions Rd -Qld; uper Running Ck
brush cuckoo Lions Rd -Qld
channel-billed cuckoo Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek - adjacent to pipeline route
koel Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park
pheasant coucal Lions Rd -Qld
glossy black cockatoo Lions Rd -Qld - crossiing pipeline route
sulphur-crested cockatoo Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek - crossiing pipeline route
eastern rosella upper Running Creek
crimson rosella upper Running Creek
pale-heded rosella upper Running Creek
rainbow lorikeet Lions Rd -Qld
black-necked stork Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
black duck Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
black swan Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
black-winged stilt Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
cattle egret Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
Eurasian coot Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
dusky moorhen Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
pelican Towards Ipswich - adjacent to pipeline route
masked lapwing Lions Rd -Qld and upper Running Creek
little pied cormorant upper Running Creek

Reptiles
Bandy-bandy Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - crossiing pipeline route
carpet python Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and Lions Rd Qld - crossiing pipeline route
eastern water dragon Lions Rd -Qld
short-necked turtle upper Running Creek

Frogs
Crinia signifera Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
emerald-spotted treefrog Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
great barred frog Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park, Lions Rd Qld, andupper Running creek - - crossiing pipeline route
sedge frog Litoria fallax Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and
Lions Rd Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
broad-palmed rocketfrog Ltoria latopalmata Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park and Lions Rd Qld v
Stony Creek frog Litoria leseuri Lions Rd Qld - adjacent to pipeline route
southern laughing treefrog Litoria tyleri Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route
striped marshfrog Lions Rd Qld
orange-eyed treefrog Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park - adjacent to pipeline route

Invertebrates
Bladder cicada Lions Rd -Qld
Paragryccallus Lions Rd -NSW Border Ranges National Park
lesser wanderer butterfly upper Running Creek
Monarch butterfly upper Running Creek
blue tiger butterfly upper Running Creek
lemon migrant butterfly upper Running Creek
common grass yelllow butterfly upper Running Creek orchard swallowtail butterfly upper Running Creek


In addition, the following have been seen or heard by Scenic Rim Wildlife members at various times along the pipeline route through Border Ranges NP:

rufous bettong
red-necked wallaby
bobuck
northern brown bandicoot
swamp rat
white-necked heron - in small swamp near Border Loop lookout
wompoo fruitdove
sooty owl - heard near pipeline and have recently been reported nesting about a kilometre from the pipeline route
tawny frogmputh
owlet nightjar
noisy pitta
spectacled monarch
Stephen's banded snake
pink-tongued skink
lace monitor
black-soled frog
king cricket


riflebird greater glider koala

(1)Paradise riflebird (female or young male) beside the Lions Road pipeline, a few km south of the border
(2)Greater glider beside the Lions Road pipeline, a few km south of the border
(3)Viewing a koala, beside the Lions Road pipeline, a few km south of the border