Freeway to extinction
Victorian Premier John Brumby in Australia last month, turned the first sod on a freeway project which is predicted to increase the liklihood of the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus) being driven to extinction.
The project will destroy 53 hectares of native vegetation, including nearly 100 trees described as "large and very large".
Nine hectares will be lost from the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve, of which 91% is "of high conservation significance".
Dr Terry Coates, an ecologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens says "this is one of the reserves put aside decades ago to preserve what was there. They are like little arks that carry what was once there."
The project is estimated to cost A$750 million. A plan to tunnel under the reserve to protect the bandicoot was rejected because of its cost, at A$320 million. Another recent road project named EastLink did successfully tunnel under the Mullum Mullum Valley in order to protect its wildlife and flora.
A spokesperson for the government says that the environment effects statement, costing A$5 million, "introduced significant protection, including a realignment of the bypass to protect areas of higher ecological significance".
Tamarisk Creek will be rehabilitated as part of the project.
Image: Tony Brown
Note: The bandicoot in the image is from Western Australia, and not from the area described in the report. It is the same species however.
Posted by: admin on 06th Aug 2009 08:59 PM
Updated by: admin on 06th Aug 2009 08:59 PM
Expires: 01st Jan 2014 12:00 AM