What the Researchers said about this and other housing developments and golf course at Minnippi.


The following is an extract from:

Ecology of a Squirrel Glider PETAURUS NORFOLCENSIS Population within selected Cannon Hill Bushland

Edited by:  C.P. Catterall, C. Rowston, & S. Piper

Report prepared for:

Brisbane City Council and Hudson Conway

June 1996

Facukty of Environmental Sciences Griffith University.

Page 3 of 3 of SUMMARY

 

.In summary: (1) Squirrel gliders have declined in southern Australia. (2) The Brisbane and south east Queensland regions are important in maintaining the current geographical distribution and population numbers of this species. (3) Squirrel gliders are dependent on lowland eucalypt forest within south east Queensland. (4) Lowland eucalypt forest habitats are subject to past and recent continuing loss due to clearing. (5) The Cannon Hill site currently supports a relatively high density of squirrel gliders. (6) Parts of the Cannon Hill site (including parts where squirrel glider density is not high) support disturbed remnants of plant community types which are recognised as being of conservation significance in the south east Queensland context. (7) The remnant bushland system currently associated with the Bulimba Creek catchment has particular conservation potential, being the only catchment system within the Brisbane City local area which retains a linked set of bushland area throughout the catchment including its lowland portions. (8) The Cannon Hill site is an important component of this bushland network.

. Within the Cannon Hill site, most of the glider activity is concentrated in the north western section of the study site (the land currently subject to a rezoning application), together with tile northern part of the Council-owned land subject to a golf course proposal. The maintenance of a squirrel glider population on the study site is likely to depend on the retention of all the bushland in the north western section of the site, that is the larld currently subject to a rezoning application.

. Development options under consideration at the time of commencement of the present study were: (1) intensive residential development of most of the 10 ha portion, and (2) combined golf course/residential development within the adjacent 128 ha portion. These developments would undoubtedly lead to large declines in the site's squirrel glider population, and would also create a high risk of the squirrel glider becoming locally extinct on the site. This would occur as a result of the loss of important habitat area.

If Council wishes to act to conserve the squirrel glider population on the site, then it is recommended that neither of the proposed residential developments should proceed. We further recommend that no developments should take place which involve a net reduction in bushland cover, and also that there should be planning for net habitat gain in the longer term. Developments which can be demonstrated to meet the criteria of zero short-term habitat loss and long-term habitat gain (potentially including some forms of golf course) could proceed without detriment to the squirrel glider population. From the point of view of squirrel glider conservation, any golf course development should aim to leave all existing vegetation, and also implement a carefully designed revegetation program which includes the re-establishment of a linked system of habitat areas. However, the golf course development on site is also undesirable due to likely impacts on the site's significant plant communities.

. If the site is managed so as to sustain the glider population, then the following habitat enhancement is desirable: (1) rehabilitation and enlargement of remnant bushland patches in the proposed golf course land, and (2) re-establishment of bushland corridors linking this area of bushland to other bushland remnants within the Bulimba Creek catchment and green space system. Continued retention of trees which are dead or have large dead limbs is important, as these provide a significant resource for gliders and other hollow dependent wildlife. It is also important to retain a range of age classes of vegetation so that a continuing supply of new hollow-bearing trees becomes available as the older ones rot away.

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