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Wind farm study urged; Quoll may feel impact  

Credit:  Tony Stickley, The Weekend Post, 26 November 2011 ~~

Protesters living next to a proposed wind farm at Mt Emerald near Walkamin have highlighted a population of endangered northern quoll on the site.

The species has been put at risk because of the ravages of the cane toad which they eat and subsequently die.

Experts from FNQ Quoll Seekers Network said the quoll was in fact quite a hardy animal in many areas and was fairly common around Mareeba and the Tableland.

But they said that further investigation was needed to study the potential impacts of a wind farm on quoll in the area. The 75-turbine wind farm project costing $520 million is before the Tablelands Regional Council.

A report from the consultants for the developers, Ratch Australia and Port Bajool, said the northern quoll were widespread over the site.

Protesters Lee Schwerdtfeger and Steve Lavis said they had passed on the information about the presence of the endangered species to people involved with quoll protection.

“We have forwarded all the information to the quoll society hoping that they will pick it up and investigate it as they are the experts,” Mr Lavis said.

Glen Kvassay of the FNQ Quoll Seekers Network said quoll had been decimated in other parts of FNQ because of the presence of cane toads.

But in the Mareeba and Tableland area generally they were quite common.

They were quite used to human habitats and would even nest in people’s sheds.

However,the wind farm site was one where there had been little human intervention.

Ratch Australia CEO Steve Loxton said studies had been done to determine the presence of the northern quoll at the site and how the wind farm might affect them.

“These studies are ongoing,” Mr Loxton said.

Source:  Tony Stickley, The Weekend Post, 26 November 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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