Threatened species

Long-nosed potoroo

Roads and Maritime is aware of the long-nosed potoroo population in the heathlands west of Wardell and has carefully considered the impact of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade on populations neighbouring the approved route.

Recently, we have carried out 38 site surveys in collaboration with experienced ecologists informed by their specialist knowledge of the species and their habitats. The results of these surveys have confirmed the type and location of connectivity structures along the approved route. The results will also inform ongoing monitoring locations to assess the effectiveness of our mitigation measures.

View or download a copy of the October 2014 survey report.


This video of three long-nosed potoroos was filmed during the recent surveys.

The coastal emu

Roads and Maritime have prepared a coastal emu management strategy as part of early work for the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade.

Key features of the strategy include:

  • Management and mitigation measures to be used prior to, during and after building the upgrade. This includes a program for monitoring emus and their habitat using ground surveys that record emu presence and signs and compare the results of impact versus control sites.
  • Aerial survey to record emu distribution and habitat use to the east and west of the highway corridor between Pillar Valley and Maclean.
  • The emu fencing strategy trials including monitoring fence types and locations in high emu activity areas prior to building the upgrade. The fencing allows emus to become accustomed to where the proposed crossing zones will be prior to building work. 

View or download the Emu pilot study report - April 2013

View or download the Emu Fact Sheet - 2012

Oxleyan pygmy perch

The oxleyan pygmy perch live in small and patchily distributed populations. In NSW, the pygmy perch appear restricted to a 114 kilometre stretch of sandy coastal lowlands between Rileys Hill, north of Evans Head, and Corindi.

This small fish is particularly sensitive to fluctuations in pH levels, so controlling water run-off from the working site into the nearby creeks is critically important.

Success in protecting the OPP and its habitat on the Devils Pulpit upgrade provides a template for ongoing management of this threatened species on the Woolgoolga to Ballina project.

A catch-net system developed works by retaining any spills and alkaline run-off from concrete works on bridges and created an irrigation system and dams to redirect discharge water away from the floodplain. This will allow the upgrade of the highway without harming the habitat of the oxleyan pygmy perch.

Giant barred frog

Roads and Maritime has worked with the Department of Environment Climate Change and Water (DECCW) to identify a giant barred frog management strategy.

Key features of the management strategy include:

  • Handling of the frog is in accordance with the DECCW hygiene protocol for control of diseases in frogs
  • Relocating Giant barred frogs and tadpoles found during farm dam dewatering downstream of the site
  • Installing frog fencing at least 50 metres either side of the watercourse where forest vegetation exists and at the project boundary near dams.

Pink underwing moth

The pink underwing moth lives in Lowland Subtropical Rainforest.  The moth is found in small populations in five locations across NSW. One of these populations is north of Wardell.

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