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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Movement of mammals through tunnels under railway lines

Published source details

Hunt A., Dickens H.J. & Whelan R.J. (1987) Movement of mammals through tunnels under railway lines. Australian Journal of Zoology, 24, 89-93


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Install tunnels/culverts/underpass under railways Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A site comparison study in 1984–1985 in New South Wales, Australia (Hunt et al. 1987) found that small and medium-sized mammals used established drainage culverts, but rarely used new wildlife tunnels. All five existing culverts were used by mammals. Bush rat Rattus fuscipes was recorded in all culverts (1–6 captures and/or tracks/culvert) and long-nosed bandicoot Perameles nasuta in one. Few signs of use were recorded in wildlife tunnels. Swamp wallaby Wallabia bicolor tracks were recorded in one tunnel in October 1984. No indication of tunnel use was found in January 1985. Five long-established drainage culverts (0.2 × 0.9 to 2.4 × 3.0 m) with dense surrounding vegetation and three of seven newly constructed wildlife tunnels (3 m diameter, 15–20 m long) with sandy floors and little vegetation, under a 35-km-long section of railway line, were monitored. Small mammal traps were set in all underpasses and cage traps in tunnels and one culvert. Tracks were recorded in sand and on soot-coated paper across passages. Culverts were surveyed for eight nights in September–October 1984 and tunnels for seven nights in October 1984 and five nights in January 1985 (15–242 trap nights/structure).

(Summarised by Rebecca K. Smith)