Pademelon flesh strung from a tree and cat food have been found near cameras in an apparent attempt to lure native animals to land at the centre of an environmental protection battle.
Mining company MMG - which is looking to potentially build a new tailings storage in the area on Tasmania'sWest Coast, on a mining lease west of Rosebery - said it found the cameras and meat lures this month and took the cameras to police.
MMG said one of the cameras had "BBF" marked on it and the other had "BBF18".
The environmentalist Bob Brown Foundation is leading the fight against the proposal.
The tailings storage proposal has sparked weeks of protests and arrests as environmentalists pressure federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley not to let to project proceed.
A decision on the next step is expected on July 23.
The detection of native animals in the area - especially protected species like quolls and Tasmanian devils - could potentially be used as ammunition to help sway Ms Ley against the proposal.
MMG said company representatives came across "meat traps" and cameras on June 10 and June 16 while conducting surveillance on the 6M/2008 mining lease.
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"The meat traps consisted of either pademelon hind legs and/or sachets of cat food strung from trees in proximity to the camera," MMG said in a report it submitted to Mineral Resources Tasmania dated June 17.
It said the MMG representatives photographed the "traps" and removed the cameras and baits and told police.
"The pademelon leg baits and cat food sachet were safely disposed of and the cameras were taken into Rosebery Police Station on June 17 and reported as found property on our mining lease," it said.
"One of the cameras had BBF marked in black ink on the back, the other camera had BBF18 marked on the back in black ink.
"As you would be aware, this is not acceptable methodology to identify wildlife observations within an area and we are disappointed and concerned someone has trespassed onto our lease to set this trap."
Bob Brown Foundation Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan confirmed the cameras belonged to the foundation.
"They were removed from public forests by the mining company and haven't been returned," he said.
"We have had cameras on Helilog Rd for the last three years without bait and with bait for the last two years and recorded Tasmanian devils.
"The foundation occasionally undertakes a variety of scientific assessments for areas threatened by logging and/or mining.
"This work can include botanical and wildlife surveys."
Mr Jordan said scent-baited camera traps were an effective and proven method of establishing presence of carrion feeding species, like the Tasmanian devil, in a foraging area.
"MMG have failed to do any such research in the areas they plans to destroy, at this time," Mr Jordan said.
Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council chief executive Ray Mostogl said he was shocked.
"A suspended carcass with potentially motion activated cameras is a very unnatural occurrence," Mr Mostogl said.
"I could only speculate that it is designed to attract wildlife not normally found in the area.
"It doesn't put it in a light that it's a fair process and all legal channels are being followed appropriately."
Protest action against MMG's activities in the area continued for a 35th day on Tuesday.
The Bob Brown Foundation said "forest defenders" were halting road building in the Tarkine and protester Jai Onay had attached himself to a machine to "prevent ongoing destruction".
"MMG's future at Rosebery does not need to cost a rainforest," Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber said.
"MMG have alternatives for their tailings storage that don't require the flattening of rainforests,
"While we wait for the federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, to declare this proposed environmental catastrophe clearly unacceptable, there is ongoing damage to takayna/Tarkine right now."
The protests had led to 34 arrests as of Tuesday morning.
It is not suggested the expression "meat traps" refers to apparatus to literally capture animals.