At 1593m the peak of Mt. Bellenden Ker has Australia’s highest rainfall totals (8m+ annually) and a transmission station surrounded by unique Wet Tropics World Heritage Area montane rainforest of Gondwanan origins. For BAI Communications, operator of a facility that is only serviceable by helicopter or cable-car, managing operations in such a biodiverse, rugged and remote setting presents special risks and challenges.
Biotropica Australia regularly assists BAI and its contractors to better understand the remarkable environment of the peak and provide solutions to the range of possible risks posed by organisms ranging from feral earthworms to cinnamon fungus. Specialist botanists and ecologists have identified numerous threatened and endemic species close to the facility, including ancient individuals of the endemic Leptospermum wooroonooran.
Most recently Biotropica has completed an extensive ecological survey of the area surrounding transmission infrastructure as part of a constraints analysis to inform the site’s overall environmental management. Four species of threatened flora and a host of narrow endemic plants were recorded within a short distance of the facility and a range of other constraints were identified. To mitigate potential impacts to the site’s exceptional natural values, a range of risk management strategies have been developed and Biotropica is now assisting BAI to implement and monitor these strategies.