Regular flora and fauna monitoring is carried out across the Mt Owen complex and has been since 1995 in accordance with the Plan of Management for Revegetation and Wildlife.
Fauna monitoring is conducted to assess the impacts of mining on local fauna populations, including birds, reptiles, mammals and frogs. Monitoring is also undertaken in rehabilitation areas and on other land set aside for conservation purposes to look at colonisation rates of native species in these areas. Monitoring techniques include trapping, spotlighting, echolocation call analysis (for woodland bat species) and inspection of artificial roost sites under a Licence issued by the Department of Environment and Conservation (formerly National Parks and Wildlife Service).
Flora monitoring is conducted seasonally to assess development in regenerating forest and rehabilitation areas. Areas of remnant vegetation are used as control sites for comparison with rehabilitation areas. Information obtained from this monitoring is used to guide and continuously improve rehabilitation efforts at the mine.
Monitoring the diversity of flora species in Ravensworth State Forest and within the rehabilitation sites has been conducted since 2000 and through this benchmarking process the success of the strategies can be assessed against the existing community. This is an important tool for developing completion criteria for the rehabilitation. Opportunistic and systematic surveys are undertaken, with the objective of developing a complete list of the species present. A series of reference sites have been established in the forest for comparison with rehabilitation monitoring sites and experiments. These reference sites are surveyed annually and provide evidence over time of changes occurring in Ravensworth State Forest and within the rehabilitation areas.