Four Elements Consulting has been engaged by Mt Fox Energy Park to undertake baseline ecological surveys across the proposed wind farm alignment. These works were designed to comply with Module 23 of the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP) and the Wind Farm State Code. This states that wind farm development must ensure that impacts on flora, fauna and associated ecological processes are avoided, minimised and/or mitigated through effective siting, design and operation of the development.
Survey works included vegetation community and weed mapping, fauna surveys and habitat assessments. Seasonal Bird and Bat utilization Surveys have been undertaken over two consecutive years to determine if any bird or bat species are likely to be impacted by the establishment of the proposed wind farm. Threatened species surveys included:
- A comprehensive camera trapping program for the EPBC act 1999 and NC act 1992 listed endangered northern quoll.
- Deployment of bio-acoustic recorders in key suitable habitats for the EPBC act 1999 and NC act 1992 listed vulnerable magnificent brood frog.
- Determining habitat utilization of the EPBC act 1999 and NC act 1992 listed vulnerable northern greater glider through the use of spotlight surveys and habitat assessment across the entire property. Critical den trees as per (Starr et al. 2020) were mapped across the proposed alignment within suitable habitat. The avoidance of these important habitat features through alignment micro-siting is a key mitigation measure for this species.
- Surveys for the threatened eucalypt tree, Corymbia leptoloma, which is listed as vulnerable to extinction under the Queensland NC Act 1992 and the EPBC Act 1999. Key findings of this survey were to determine the population dynamics of this species on the western edge of its known distribution. This data will be used to inform effective avoidance measures to reduce the likelihood of a significant impact to this population. Translocation will also play a role in reducing impacts to this species with the establishment of an on-site nursery dedicated to the propagation of this species for use in revegetation works across the project alignment.