Strategen was commissioned by Agrimin to undertake a level 2 flora and terrestrial vertebrate survey and a targeted fauna survey for the Lake Mackay Sulphate of Potash (SOP) Project.
Lake Mackay (locally known as Wilkinkara) is a seasonally inundated salt-lake located in the Great Sandy Desert on the WA and NT border. The SOP project covers an area of almost 2,560 square kilometres and contains the world’s largest known undeveloped mineral resources of brine-hosted SOP.
The project is a two-day journey from Perth. The nearest major town is Alice Springs which is 540 km away and the nearest community is Kiwirrkurra, approximately 65 km south-west of the lake. Access to the project area is mainly via helicopter and the teams’ accommodation is under canvas, whether it rains or shines, or even floods! For a fortnight!
The flora survey saw the botanists walk up to 20 km a day surveying and mapping the flora and vegetation of the project area, which resulted in five unknown and potentially new taxa.
The fauna survey involved a trapping programme and targeted searches for conservation significant species.
Strategen conducted the detailed flora and vegetation survey to detail baseline data and information to inform approvals for the project. The survey included:
The surveys were aided with the help of the local IPA Rangers from Kiwirrkurra, who shared knowledge and learnt new skills, as together they surveyed for conservation significant fauna species including Great Desert Skink, Night Parrot, Princess Parrot, Brush-tailed Mulgara, Bilby and Northern Marsupial Mole and flora species including Tecticornia and Goodenia.
Strategen was engaged to conduct a detailed flora and vegetation survey of a 40 km pipeline alignment running east from the town of Ravensthorpe in the South Coast Region of WA.
Strategen’s in house team of botanists conducted the multiple visit survey to detail baseline data and information to inform state and federal approvals The survey included:
The Water Corporation commissioned Strategen to undertake a flora and fauna survey near the Ord River in Kununurra.
The Water Corporation are proposing to repair the dam abutment structure in Kununurra. As part of the project clearing of all Native Vegetation will be required.
To facilitate these repairs, sand and shingle material will need to be resourced from the river from the land directly north of the dam. To facilitate this, Strategen was commissioned to undertake a detailed flora and level 1 fauna survey of the area before the 2017 wet season started.
Two Strategen ecologists headed up to tropical Kununurra and worked closely with local TOs to survey the area. They were very lucky to be taught all about traditional fishing methods and plant uses as well as learning some local language.
The two-day survey returned one conservation significant fauna species and even a few crocs were spotted in the river!
The Strategen team was commissioned to undertake a targeted Night Parrot survey in the Pilbara.
Once thought possibly extinct, a number of recent sightings have put the Night Parrot under the spotlight. With suitable habitat throughout vast parts of WA, Night Parrot surveys are likely to be increasingly required by the regulators to address this cryptic species across the resource sector.
The Strategen Zoology team headed to the Pilbara for ten days to undertake the survey.
Using specialist equipment and liaison with leading Night Parrot experts, the team surveyed a potential borefield for the presence of the Night Parrot. The team undertook habitat surveying, potential roosting and feeding habitat identification, and used the latest remote image and acoustic analysis.