Regular monitoring of threatened species, weeds and vertebrate pests at the Shannon
Creek dam site is a requirement of the conditional consent granted in 2000, and later
in 2005. The original concept of monitoring as presented by the NPWS Director
General's requirements in the 1999 EIS was:
A Threatened Species Management Plan (TSMP) is to be prepared to the
satisfaction of the NPWS detailing measures to be employed during both
construction and operation phases of the proposed project to minimise or
ameliorate impacts on threatened species or their habitat, and detailing monitoring
of the impact of the development and effectiveness of ameliorative measures. In
particular, monitoring will be designed to identify changes in:
size and location of populations of the subject species, and
their utilisation of habitat currently present in the study area."
As a result there was widespread expectation that all threatened species would be
monitored. However, many have never been included, and as time goes by more and
more species are eliminated through a process of 'risk assessment' until now, of the
48 threatened species and ecological communities known to occur at the site, only 14
were included in the Autumn 2007 survey. Ten of those were microbats, which are
all recorded automatically using ultrasonic
sound detecting devices, while one flora
species,
Phyllanthus microcladus,
was only
monitored at two of the five nominated sites.
The monitoring report claims (page 5.1):
“there are no indications that the
construction of the Storage facility has
adversely affected the survival of
populations of threatened species."
This statement
should have been qualified by
an explanation that, excluding microbats,
only one of the 22 other threatened fauna
known to occur at the site,
the Brush-tailed
Rock-wallabies,
were actually monitored.
This makes a mockery of the above claim of
no adverse effects a mockery, particularly
given that Black Bitterns and 3 microbat
species recorded in baseline surveys, have
not been since construction began.
Review of the threatened species, weeds, and vertebrate pest
monitoring report, for the Shannon Creek dam site,
(Cumberland Ecology, Autumn 2007).
One of the microbat species that occur at Shannon
Creek, possibly Eastern Horseshoe Bat