Peak wants Cobar residents to be on the lookout for kultarrs

New Gold’s Chris Higgins with a kultarr, an endangered species which is the subject of a Peak Gold Mines project to learn more about the native animal. ▪ File photo

Have you ever seen a kultarr? If so, Peak Gold Mines (PGM) wants to know about it.

The mine’s environmental staff have been working for many years to help save the native endangered marsupial in the Cobar region.

Peak’s senior environmental advisor Sophie Bereyne told The Cobar Weekly they work closely with the Local Land Services and, after recording a number of sightings of the kultarr, have together developed a program to help save the endangered species.

“Peak and Local Land Services developed this program to gain a greater understanding of the distribution and abundance of this local endangered species,” Mrs Bereyne said.

The kultarr program was implemented in 2013 and Mrs Bereyne said recent sightings of the kultarr prompted the need for more local community involvement.

“Peak reports the provided information to Local Land Services. From here, the information is entered into the Atlas of NSW Wildlife,” Mrs Bereyne explained.

The information gathered by Peak is used to assess population growth and the kultarr’s distribution.

“The collected information is paramount to the development of specific management plans that are appropriately aimed at ensuring this endangered species remains around Cobar and Australia for future generations,” Mrs Bereyne said.

Peak conduct thorough inspections of their project areas and, if the risk to native flora and fauna are too high, the location of the project is altered.

“PGM understands the importance of conserving the kultarr and its ecosystem.

“PGM are not aware of any negative impact on the kultarr as a result of our operation,” Mrs Bereyne said.

She explained that the mine has a Permit to Disturb process which assesses the level of impact of all activities across the site.

“The process is to be followed for all activities undertaken across our mining operations, as well as our exploration sites,” Mrs Bereyne said.

For several years Peak has held school programs which aim to engage local children in protecting the kultarr.

In addition every employee onsite is made aware of the program through the general site induction.

“Contractors and other site visitors that are inducted onsite are also required to report any kultarr sighting that occur within our operations,” Mrs Bereyne explained.

At the moment the kultarr is the only known endangered species to occupy Peak’s land, however Mrs Bereyne explained that if other endangered species were located onsite that they would look at establishing a similar program for it.