Mernda Rail Project factsheet: Looking out for local wildlife
15 Mar 2018
The Mernda Rail Extension Project is committed to minimising and managing impacts to local wildlife and habitats as we deliver this project.
The new rail line will follow the old Whittlesea rail corridor, which was closed in 1959 and reclaimed by vegetation and wildlife.
A key priority and challenge for the construction process is managing and mitigating construction impacts to the local wildlife alongside the project area.
What local wildlife lives around the rail corridor?
We conducted extensive ecological studies prior to construction to better understand the local area. These studies identified a variety of local wildlife living in and around the rail corridor including mobs of eastern grey kangaroos, common Ringtail possums and hollow nesting birds.
We also found several native bird species in the area including Eastern rosellas, Red-rumped parrots, Superb Fairy wrens, White-faced herons, Grey-butcher birds and Sulphur-crested cockatoos.
Measures for protecting local kangaroos
A Kangaroo Management Plan helps protect kangaroos near the project area. The welfare of kangaroos is actively monitored by the project’s environmental specialists. If there is any risk to the animals, we work closely with animal welfare organisations to safely relocate them.
We have erected temporary fences around the construction area while we deliver the project, and permanent kangaroo-proof fences will be installed in locations to prevent kangaroos from accessing the rail line.
What are we doing to protect other wildlife?
Because of the large scatter of trees within the project area, the need to protect habitats for the common Ringtail possum and hollow-nesting birds is vital.
A qualified wildlife handler was engaged during the tree removal process.
A qualified arborist, ecologist and wildlife handler, along with our environment team, are onsite to supervise all vegetation removal works. Our team has carefully selected a tree removal specialist who removes trees in accordance with the ecologist and wildlife handlers’ requirements.
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