In 2007, in an effort to mitigate our impact on the environment, Cliffs consulted with a diverse stakeholder group in Western Australia on a pioneering project to relocate a species of spider known as the Tree-stem Trapdoor Spider (A.castellum), a threatened species under the Western Australia Wildlife Conservation Act and, until recently, thought to be restricted to a few small areas of remnant bushland in the area.
- Cliffs’ preferred location for an expansion project would have resulted in less environmental impact on the area and less ongoing operational costs, but would have impacted 15 known burrows of the Tree-stem Trapdoor Spider.
- The innovative solution consisted of identifying 13 Tree-stem Trapdoor Spiders within the burrows and relocating them to artificially constructed burrows.
- Of the 13 spiders, three perished and five showed signs of residency in the artificial burrows. The fate of the other five is unknown.
An intensive survey of the Koolyanobbing range outside of the expansion project area revealed it was inhabited by an estimated 44,500 individual Tree-stem Trapdoor Spiders, far more than originally believed. The detailed spider surveys have significantly raised the level of awareness by project personnel and government agencies alike.
- In association with this project, Cliffs was selected as a finalist for the 2009 Golden Gecko Award for environmental excellence in Western Australia.
- You can read more about our environmental stewardship programs in our 2009 Sustainability Report, Committed to the Global Community.
- You can also read more about our Asia Pacific Environmental Stewardship efforts in our Environmental Stewardship section.