Monitoring the use of the Slaty Creek wildlife underpass, Calder Freeway, Blackforest, Macedon, Victoria, Australia

  • Published source details Abson R.N. & Lawrence R.E. (2003) Monitoring the use of the Slaty Creek wildlife underpass, Calder Freeway, Blackforest, Macedon, Victoria, Australia. Proceedings of the 2003 International Conference on Ecology and Transportation, Center for Transportation and the Environment, North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA, 303-308.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Install tunnels/culverts/underpasses under roads/railways

Action Link
Reptile Conservation

Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Install tunnels/culverts/underpasses under roads/railways

    A site comparison study in 2002–2003 in eucalypt forest in Victoria, Australia (Abson & Lawrence 2003) found that 4–5 years after a flyover was built to enable wildlife to cross underneath a dual carriageway, some reptiles were present underneath the flyover as well as in adjacent forest. Four–five years after a road flyover was built, five species of reptile were counted underneath the flyover and five species of reptile were counted in forest adjacent to the flyover. In 1998 a dual carriageway road flyover was built across a tract of forest. Mature eucalypts and middle and understorey vegetation were kept during construction and native plant species were planted to maintain a similar vegetation structure to adjacent forest. Reptile use of the flyover was monitored monthly in July 2002–June 2003 using 14 different methods including pitfall trapping, sand trays and visual surveys for roadkill (see original paper for details).

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

  2. Install barrier fencing and underpasses along roads

    A study in 2002–2003 of a highway bisecting forest blocks in Victoria, Australia (Abson & Lawrence 2003) found that an underpass, along with roadside fencing, was used by 13 native mammal species. These comprised 76% of mammal species recorded in the adjacent forest (bats not included). The underpass was used by koalas Phascolarctos cinereus, wombats Lasiorhinus latifrons, echidnas, macropods (e.g. kangaroos, wallabies), rodents and carnivorous marsupials (four of five species), and gliders and possums (four of seven species). In 1997, a 70-m wide underpass was built under a split dual-carriageway bridge. Some vegetation was retained and some planted within the underpass. Barrier fencing, 2 m high, ran the length of the highway (with koala escape poles). Intensive sampling was carried out for one week/month in July 2002–June 2003, within the underpass and at two forest sites, 100 m and 320 m from the underpass. Small mammal traps, hair tubes, nest boxes for arboreal mammals, spotlight counts, track surveys and scat surveys were used to monitor wildlife.

    (Summarised by: Rebecca K. Smith)

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