How flora and fauna are considered
We proactively work across our operations to minimise our potential to negatively affect natural habitat, particularly that of threatened or endangered species.
When a potential project is identified, Western Power’s Environmental, Safety and Planning Assessment Team undertake preliminary desktop assessments of any environment, heritage and planning constraints associated with the program of works.
The early assessment assists the project team to narrow down options by identifying areas with high environmental values and enable design changes to avoid key locations and reduce the environmental impact where possible.
Once the preliminary investigations are complete, the team engages environmental consultants to undertake flora, fauna and vegetation surveys. Usually zoologists or biologists, these experts collaborate with us to move through the area, looking for signs of significant fauna or flora species and threatened ecological communities, and map areas based on their ecological significance (e.g. whether they are cleared and degraded and likely to attract non-native or feral/pest species, or contain high-quality vegetation with suitable habitat for native species).
Flora surveys generally take place in spring to more easily identify notable plants and habitats in their growth phase. Fauna surveys can occur into the summer months in order to provide the greatest possible chance of locating key species like the Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Baudin’s Cockatoo and Carnaby’s Cockatoo, and any potential nesting trees while the species are most active.
The experts also look out for high-quality foraging habitat, breeding trees and hollows suitable to support key species.