The proposed solution for bandicoots (SBB) in the Botanic Ridge and Devon Meadows urban development area has a number of problems. Bandicoots are expected to cross extremely busy roads via inadequate corridors. I ask, "Would it not just be so much more cost effective to simply exchange SBB’s from the RBGC to the Pines and from the Pines to the Royal Botanical Gardens Cranbourne? (RBGC)"
The Department of Environment, Land,Water and Planning (DELWP) believes that 30m wide corridors for SBB’s to other areas will compensate for the loss of habitat and lack of contact with other bandicoots . This is my response.
The corridor from the RBGC to the Pines is about 8 km long and has to cross Pearsdale Rd, Cranbourne-Frankston Rd, the extremely wide Western Port HWY (double road), Potts Rd and McClellend Drive in order to lead into the Pines and this reserve needs to be fenced in with a predator-proof fence and no dog walking allowed in the reserve.
Road crossings are not only costly but also create bottle necks and it is every ones guess how SBB’s can cope with the extremely wide Western Port HWY underpass alone.
Four to six times a year of fox baiting on both sides of the corridor on an ongoing basis is not only extremely expensive but there is no guarantee that it will be successful.
There is also the need for a fence on both sides of the corridors in order to guide the SBB’s to where they are expected to go.
A further question is whether the whole length of this corridor can be properly provided with suitable vegetation.
If one walked the whole length of it there would be surely some more difficulties encountered. A Population Viability Assessment would surely cause laughter at all of this.
And what about the yet unspecified and prohibitive costs involved?
Would it not just be so much more cost effective to simply exchange SBB’s from the RBGC to the Pines and from the Pines to the RBGC?
Further more, such an extremely narrow and long corridor is still untested and there is definitely no proof that it will work. SBB’s deserve much better than this and need to be treated with dignity in large reserves.
The corridor from the RBGC to the Western Port Bay is also an extremely narrow corridor and is about 10 km long and has to cross Browns Rd, North RD, Smith Lane, Baxter-Tyabb Rd and many more smaller roads and finishes up at nowhere in particular near Western Port Bay. It encounters the same extreme difficulties as the corridor above.
The rest of the proposed corridors will surely encounter very similar problems.
This nationally endangered species needs to be properly protected within large reserves and protected within a predator proof fence, rather than to try to condemn them into these corridors.