Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems

PO Box 440
Jamison Centre
Macquarie ACT 2614


Re. New RSPCA site, Assessment by Preliminary Documentation

Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of native grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.

In August 2022 FOG provided comments on the ecological issues related to the proposed site for the new RSPCA facility. In summary, our concerns and recommendations were:

a)       The Striped Legless lizard no doubt utilises the surrounding exotic paddocks and will certainly move through the habitat in the proposed development area. The small area of native grassland should be retained and managed to retain if possible the population of Striped Legless Lizard; and

b)      The Golden Sun Moth, although not found during surveys in the site, is found throughout the valley in native grassland and is likely to utilise this habitat. FOG therefore considers this conclusion downplays the potential significance of impact of the development on Golden Sun Moth.

Given Natural Temperate Grassland is a critically endangered community, it is not adequate to conclude that there is no significant impact from loss of this site. It is not appropriate to consider this location in isolation from the entire area, which is likely to be utilised by native species at different times.

While not opposing the development, we urge that any landscaping be undertaken in a way that may continue to support grassland species. Particular attention should be given to retaining and enhancing the area of remaining native grassland. Such an approach would be consistent with the RSPCA’s mandate to care for animals, including native wildlife. Adoption of landscaping that prioritises the protection and maintenance of the areas of Natural Temperate Grassland would ensure that the RSPCA facility sits sympathetically within the natural environment.

In conclusion, FOG does not oppose the development but believes it is feasible that the site can support both future use by the RSPCA  and the pre-existing areas of critically endangered Natural Temperate Grassland. However, careful consideration of landscaping will be required to ensure these areas of habitat are available for a range of native species, including the vulnerable Striped Legless Lizard and Golden Sun Moth.

FOG representatives would be pleased to meet with landscape planners to discuss ways to maintain, and ideally improve, habitat for native fauna and flora.

Yours sincerely


Professor Jamie Pittock, President

4 August 2023