While major level crossing removal works are progressing at the Melbourne suburbs of Edithvale, Chelsea and Bonbeach, the local furry and feathered residents are being protected.
The State Level Crossing Removal Project has placed 30 nest boxes and artificial hollows in trees to provide sanctuary for animals such as microbats, brushtail and ringtail possums, and birds including lorikeets and rosellas.
Vegetation along the Frankston rail corridor had to be uprooted as part of works to remove five dangerous and congested level crossings and build three new stations.
Before any tree removals happened, the trunks and branches were carefully inspected by wildlife experts, with any animals safely moved.
Next year, a wide variety of vegetation will be replanted — including more than 800 trees and 85,000 shrubs, groundcovers and grasses — to increase biodiversity and provide new wildlife habitats.
Environmental Coordinator Rebecca O’Connor said it was a great environmental initiative to minimise the project’s impact on local wildlife.
“This is a great environmental initiative that will help to protect animals during the works and encourage other wildlife to the area once the job is done,” she said.
“When we were installing one of the artificial hollows, our ecologist saw a possum head straight for the box, so I think that’s a good sign.”
The nest boxes and artificial hollows will be monitored using pole cameras at six and 12 months after installation, to collect information on their use.