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Cooma Men’s Shed has recently been engaged by consulting firm, RPS, to make 170 reptile tubes that will be used in the ecological assessment survey at Someva Renewables’ proposed Coonerang Wind Farm site. The tubes will be used to help monitor for the Monaro grassland earless dragon.

The Monaro grassland earless dragon (Tympanocryptis osbornei) is a small lizard that grows up to 16cm long and has no external ear openings. The lizard has rough spiny body scales and a raised stance with a patchy pattern on its back that makes for excellent camouflage in grassland habitat. The species has evolved with a thicker neck fold to protect itself from cold Monaro winters, with a lifespan of around 12 months.

RPS are conducting ecological surveys on the proposed Coonerang Wind Farm site, on behalf of Someva Renewables. This research will form part of Someva’s response to the Environmental Impact Statement requirements for the NSW Department of Planning and Environment. The reptile tubes created by the Cooma Men’s Shed will be put into the field for ongoing surveys across the next 12 months and will be monitored repeatedly by RPS during summer, autumn and spring months.

Cooma Men’s Shed enjoy get-togethers and repairing wooden items for townsfolk, and always welcome new members. They are looking forward to working on this project that will help Someva Renewables understand the local habitat of the Monaro grasslands earless dragons in the region. This important work will help identify opportunities where Someva can modify the design of the Coonerang Wind Farm to preserve and protect the Monaro grassland earless dragon from long term from threats such as overgrazing, erosion and changes to agricultural practices.