Southern Black-throated Finch to follow at Bravus, formerly Adani, Carmichael Coal Mine

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Cutting-edge new radio tracking technology has been deployed at the Carmichael Coal Mine Project in central Queensland to monitor the endangered Southern Black-throated Finch.

The bird has been at the center of concern for conservationists over the Bravus mine, formerly Adani, saying it would destroy some of the best remaining habitats for the bird.

In a statement, Bravus Mining and Resources CEO David Boshoff said environmentalists have outfitted the birds with paw identification bands and tiny transmitters, which signal every 13 seconds and are followed by a series of 27 radio towers in the project area.

“This new research is taking place in our 33,000 hectare conservation area, which is one of the largest private conservation areas in the country, and is the size of 33,000 football fields. The research is also taking place in the lease. mining, ”said Boshoff said.

“The radio tracking data will tell us more about how far finches travel and where they live and will help guide our environmental management practices in the future.

“We’re looking at finch movement patterns, foraging behavior, foraging preferences, and seed availability, and we’re trying to relate all of these to land management practices.”

Bravus places paw tags on birds to track their movements. (

Provided: Bravus

)

Bravus’ monitoring program is part of the cash management plan the company had to sign with the state government to get the project going.

Mr Boshoff said Bravus ‘full estimate of the bird species’ population will be completed by 2024, but previous third-party studies for the company have estimated that there are around 641 to 2,202 finches. on 102 sites over an area of ​​60,000 hectares.

A photo of the ground looking at a medium sized radio antenna, with a blue sky in the background
Twenty-seven radio towers were set up to pick up signals from the beacons.(

Provided: Bravus

)

“Our research is being carried out by third-party experts, who hold both Australian and Queensland government permits to conduct the research and safely monitor the finch, so we have confidence in the information and evidence that they provided us, “he said.

“We are happy to share it with everyone so that we can provide the facts and dispel the myths.”

Call for habitat conservation

The Mackay Conservation Group has campaigned on the plight of the finch for several years, and coordinator Peter McCallum said the group believes conservation is the best way to protect the species, not more research.

“It used to exist from Cooktown all the way to New South Wales, but it is now very small,” said Mr McCallum.

“There are two populations, one around the Adani mine site and the other just south of Townsville.

He said bird species began to decline with European colonization in the region.

Hand holding a black throated finch
Monitoring is part of the management plan that was required by the mine approval process.(

Provided: Bravus

)

“Its habitat has been dramatically reduced over the past few hundred years, not because of Adani’s actions, but others,” McCallum said.

“The bird feeds on grass seeds found in alluvial flood plains, so it loves the land that cattle ranchers love too.


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