Emus choose their highway crossing points
EXTENSIVE studies and monitoring of the coastal emu is providing valuable insight into the most appropriate locations for animal crossings and exclusion fencing along the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.
Pacific Highway General Manager Bob Higgins said Roads and Maritime Services is carrying out survey work in partnership with experienced ecologists, local landholders and National Parks and Wildlife Services to determine the best place, number, type and size of crossing points.
"Since December 2013, Roads and Maritime has been collecting data on coastal emus which frequent areas near section three of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade," Mr Higgins said.
"Between Glenugie and Maclean, 25 potential crossing points have been identified based on data collection about emu movements.
"Nearly five kilometres of temporary fencing has also been installed at a number of the proposed crossing zones and monitoring, via sensor activated cameras, has identified emus will follow the fence line until they reach a safe crossing zone.
"Images from motion sensor cameras and field searches for feathers and scats have shown emus use all nominated crossing zones."
Roads and Maritime and its delivery partner Pacific Complete are now progressing with the detailed design for these crossing locations as part of an emu fencing strategy.
A Coastal Emu Management Plan is being prepared and will provide further detail on management actions before, during and after major work on the project. This report will be made available on the project website.For more information on work progressing for the upgrade visit http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au.