Habitat restoration- part of the dreaming

The NSW Environmental Trust has announced funding for the ‘Monaro tree comeback’ project, on the tablelands and the ‘Bega Valley corridors, from coast to escarpment: filling in the gaps’ project, on the coast. The former project is trying to find eucalyptus species that will grow where endemic eucalyptus have died, especially manna gum.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the latter project makes no mention of die-back, rather the proponents, Far South Coast Land-care indicate- ” . . . A total of 88 hectares of revegetation and approximately 186 hectares regeneration will recover, protect and re-connect riparian corridors, remnant grassy woodlands and wetlands to fill 30 kilometres of strategic corridor connectivity gaps in the landscape, building links between reserved forests. ”
While FSC land-care is clearly optimistic, this optimism seems at odds with the evidence pointing to similar negative influences operating on tablelands and coastal trees. From that perspective FSC land-care could be seen as either unrealistic, untruthful or both. Perhaps if the conservation movement were concerned about die-back in ‘reserved forests’, FSC land-care may have been a little more circumspect, thereby avoiding succumbing to temptation and glossing over the issues.


If that were the case, a greater emphasis would be placed on returning locally extinct native species to reserved forests. In that regard the federal environment Minister has provided detail on the final eight of the 20 priority species for its ‘Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan’.

Making the final list is Gilbert’s Potoroo, one of two potoroo species that were endemic to Western Australia. The other being the Broad-faced Potoroo, thought to have become extinct around 1875. The ABC reported Gilbert’s potoroo population totals about 45, bushfires taking out the majority of the remaining population last year. Of the animals ‘protected’ in a feral exclosure at Waychinicup National Park, six had been eaten by pythons.

While pythons are unlikely to get over a fence, the one in the shot above, close to three metres long and 10 cm diameter at its widest point, didn’t have a problem getting through rabbit netting, while I watched it.

Also locally, Forestry Corporation has released it’s first logging schedule for the year. Still on the list are Cpts 2133-35 in Mumbulla SF, where the illegal logging was undertaken and Cpt 2032, where evidence of koalas was found.

I expect FCNSW hasn’t considered the implications of their burning for forest health theory, however as their theory requires getting rid of koalas as part of increasing forest health, they must still be dreaming.

Also on the list are a few ‘Crown land’ areas, again confirming how desperate they are, because there isn’t much timber left in State Forests


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