CATALINA

Reporter: Jasmine Homer

It's a sad consequence of our insatiable appetite for housing.

As Perth stretches ever further north and south, bushland is being wiped out at a rate of almost one and a half football fields a day ... and countless animals kicked out of home ... or worse.

Darren says a lot of people like to think that the noise or the vibration of the machine will send them off but all it does is send them off into a hidey hole and they try to wait out that noise and that hidey hole is their death sentence.But times are changing. "The animals need a fairer go and they need someone out there doing it for them. We're actually making a difference helping."

There's a new era in land clearing...and Darren and John Darch are on the front line...This nature-loving father and son team work for an organisation called Replants. Their job is to get the animals out before the bulldozers go in.Every creature, great and small, is collected and relocated.

We're at Catalina estate - 170 hectares of bushland on Perth's northern beaches; the site of two thousand six hundred future dream homes.Darren and John have been scouring the scrub here for weeks, sometimes even camping out at night.

There's a lot of subterranial species of snakes and lizards, then you've got obviously your snakes your rabbits your bandicoots all up top here, then you've got your trees to do, which can be chocolate bats, can be other varieties of lizards, marble geckos, birds... I love it, to go out there and find all snakes and see what species there are out there.

Were heading in ... to check for bandicoots. The most crucial work begins when the land clearing starts. Darren and John are the last line of defence for animals still in the bulldozers path.

Funny thing is - not so long ago, Darren was the one doing the bulldozing.

Darren's always liked animals but I used to be a bulldozer driver and a lady by the name of Alison Dixon in Mandurah she was doing it next to my traxcavator and I asked her the question how do I jump from the machine to doing what you're doing.

Nigel Satterley is developing this land. He says what's happening here, is a sign of the times. Nigel says in the old days, crudely called carve and sell you just carve up the roads and land so now we level the land we give flat blocks we build communities, we put the parks and all the community facilities in up front and now we're relocating the animals.

In all honesty, is this kind of thing a nuisance for property developers? "No I think this sort of thing is expected of us to be far more responsible. There are a lot more onorous conditions placed on property developers with ground water with soil with relocation of the animals and the fauna."

These grass trees are being shifted too; they've been here since before white settlers arrived. Bruce Abbott is the grass tree expert at Replants.

By the time the first homes are up here, Darren and John will be on to the next patch of bushland but say, they'll rest easy, knowing most of the animals who once called this home, have been given a second chance.

We pulled some animals out where other people wouldn't have come in and grabbed them, they would have been dead by now so we've saved some and that's the main thing and the aim of the game really.

The team at Re-plants is always looking for helpers, if you'd like to know more

Website: www.replant.com

Contact: 0408 885 435