Eastern bristlebird in the news

To: <>, "'L&L Knight'" <>
Subject: Eastern bristlebird in the news
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 2009 15:39:40 +1000
-----Original Message-----
From: L&L Knight  
Sent: Saturday, 8 August 2009 12:45 PM
To: Stephen Ambrose
Cc: Birding Aus
Subject: Eastern bristlebird in the news

Thanks Stephen,

Could you please expand on how the rally would threaten the frogs,  
bristlebirds and BBBQ?

I can see how the Lyrebirds, Quolls and Potoroos etc might be hit by  
cars traversing the route.  I'm less clear on how the rally will  
affect the other species.  In particular, where would the rally be  
passing through bristlebird habitat?  Looking at the maps, it doesn't  
seem to pass along the Lions Rd through the McPherson Range (The Mt  
Gipps to Black Snake Ridge section of the Range is the only spot that  
I know of bristlebird records) or through the Border Ranges NP.

Hi Laurie,

Re frogs: the rally cars travel through or over creeks that are known to
contain populations of Giant Barred and Fleayed Barred Frogs, and pass
within a few metres of other creeks (especially in the Byrill and Peacock
River stages of the rally). The concern is potential degradation of these
creeks as a result of the settling of airborne dust & soil thrown up by the
cars, sediment runoff into the creek from the sides of the tracks, and the
runoff of pollutants (e.g. oils, fuels) into the creeks in the event of one
or more of the rally cars being involved in an accident. There's also the
issue of excessive tyre residues being washed into creeks from gravel road
surfaces as a result of rally drivers "burning rubber". The rally occurs at
the start of the breeding period for these species, when there could be eggs
or early-stage tadpoles. Therefore, pollutant or sediment runoff into known
breeding areas would be catastrophic.

The BBBQ is recorded regularly in the Mebbin and Byrill Creek Areas, where
the Byrill Creek stage of the rally is to occur. Therefore, there is a risk
of road kills. The rally will be at the start of the usual breeding season
for this species (September to April). The usual home range of a nesting
pair of Black-breasted Button-quails is c. 1.5 ha, therefore there is a
significant risk of nest desertion in the event of significant local

Re Eastern Bristlebirds: there are no records of these species occurring
near the rally circuit, as you quite rightly point out. However, potential
habitat for this species occurs in Richmond Range NP, especially in some of
the valleys near or through which the rally traverses, and I suspect once
occurred there. Therefore, one cannot rule out the possibility that either
species may disperse into these areas, either as isolated individuals or in
small numbers. Under these circumstances, there is a risk (admittedly a
remote one) of road kills.

Re Grey-headed Flying-fox (which you didn't mention): the rally circuit
passes close to the GHFF maternity camp at Bray's Park near Murwillumbah.
Given that mothers in the camp are likely to be suckling young pups at that
time there is concern that noise from rally cars and helicopters could
result in some of the newborn being abandoned by their mothers.

Unfortunately, the ecological consultant only assessed the potential impacts
of a one-off event, and didn't consider the cumulative impacts that may
result from holding the event 5 times over a 10-year period. 

Hope this information answers your questions.

Kind regards,


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