New Geraldton bypass threatens wildlife

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Geoff VivianThe West Australian
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Banksias are an important food source for the endangered Carnaby's black cockatoo.
Camera IconBanksias are an important food source for the endangered Carnaby's black cockatoo. Credit: Supplied, Birdlife Australia

The proposed Geraldton bypass route would threaten a flock of endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoos and a population of echidnas, according to residents.

Mount Hill resident Teresa Johnson said echidnas regularly commuted between her property and her neighbour’s through a grove of Casuarina trees, which the new road would destroy while also blocking the animals’ access.

A heathland with four banksia species also covers about 30 acres of Jason and Teresa Johnson’s block and extends into their neighbour’s property. They are concerned the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoos which feed on banksia nuts could fly into heavy traffic and be killed.

Birdlife Australia black cockatoo program co-ordinator Adam Peck said the species had limited flying ability and could only take to the air by flying into the breeze.

“If that happens to take them into the path of a vehicle, they will still do it because that is the only way they can take off,” he said.

Mr Peck said there had been numerous such deaths on Indian Ocean Drive near Lancelin, Oceanic Drive and South Street in Perth, all of Albany Highway from Armadale to Albany; and Chester Pass Road near the Stirling Ranges.

He said any banksia woodland was important to the cockatoos.

“If a road with 100km speed zone goes very close to feed trees there will be an increased risk of car strike,” he said.

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