The heritage listed Glebe Bridge in Coraki, northern NSW, required recent upgrades to replace a number of outdated timber elements. The cracks, crevices and gaps between the timbers were confirmed by Greenloaning personnel to be providing roosting habitat for a large colony of the threatened Southern Myotis (Myotis macropus) microbats. Greenloaning prepared a Review of Environmental Factors (REF), a Flora and Fauna Report and a Microbat Management Plan (MMP) for the Roads and Maritime Services for the purposes of the upgrade project. In order to ensure the wellbeing of the microbats during the bridge works, some bats were required to be translocated from their roosts in the construction spans to bat boxes installed in other sections of the bridge not disturbed by the works. This involved effective coordination of construction schedules and microbat activity to facilitate smooth progression of the bridge upgrade works, whilst avoiding disruption to the Southern Myotis breeding behavior or physical disturbance during cold conditions when the bats were likely to be in semi-torpor. Greenloaning also conducted follow-up monitoring to ensure the bats were not impacted by the relocation.
The ecology and management of microbats is a particular specialty of the company director, Alison Martin, who currently is developing industry guidelines, in conjunction with another colleague, for the specific management of microbats in linear infrastructure. Alison presented a poster on the positive outcomes from the Glebe Bridge project at the recent Australasian Wildlife Management Society Conference (AWMS).
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