Small in size but big on impact. That’s the perfect way to describe the fauna underpasses that will soon play an important role in protecting native animals moving between the bushland areas around the METRONET Thornlie-Cockburn Link Project.
The 500mm and 700mm diameter concrete pipes will be placed about a kilometre apart and will provide a safe and secure passage for small fauna moving from Ken Hurst Park through the rail corridor that crosses pockets of suburban bushland.
A fauna survey conducted near the underpass site recorded around 66 diverse species of small animals in and around the area including mammals such as quenda, possum and chuditch, birds, reptiles and frogs.
METRONET Environmental Manager Colin Stedman said fauna crossings enable animals to cross human-made barriers safely and are good environmental practice in transport projects that traverse and divide bushland.
“The fauna underpasses are simple, but they can be very effective, particularly as the rail corridor will be fenced off when the Thornlie-Cockburn Link passenger trains start running,” Colin said.
“Fauna underpasses reduce habitat barriers by enabling small animals to move from one area to another underneath the rail track. This helps ensure they can migrate and spread more widely to find a mate or food sources; or avoid risks such as bushfires.”