Riverina Restoration Study
This large scale study looks at the faunal response to vegetation restoration and farm plantings.
There has been large-scale clearing of native vegetation since European arrival in Australia, primarily for agriculture and development. Vegetation clearing causes loss of habitat for wildlife, land degradation such as soil erosion, stream sedimentation, salinity and dieback in the remaining patches of bush.
Revegetation is becoming increasingly popular as a means to enhance habitat for wildlife, and improve farm productivity. Revegetation can occur as plantings in connective corridors, isolated patches or linear strips. They can occur as new plantings on cleared land (e.g. farms) or as enhancement plantings of existing remnants.
Some plantings focus on providing habitat for wildlife and so make an effort to plant only local species of local provenance (i.e. the genetic stock is also local). Other plantings are for mixed landuse such as farm enhancement or woodlots, and may use non-local or non-native plants.
While great emphasis has been placed on planting vegetation as a means of reversing the damaging land clearing activities of the past (and present) little is known of their role or incorporation into local ecosystems. Do animals actually use re-vegetation patches, i.e. do the new plantings provide habitat? How long does it take for animals to incorporate the new habitat? Is there a different suit of animals that use the new re-vegetation plantings compared to those in remnants or native bush?
This project looks at how different faunal groups respond to farm plantings. Established in 2000, the concept for this restoration study arose from the Nanangroe natural experiment and the importance of accumulative interactions of restored and existing vegetation on fauna.
The project site is very large - from Albury to Gundagai in south eastern NSW. Throughout this region there are 24 selected landscapes, each 10 x 10 km. Within each landscape, 2 farms were chosen, one that has plantings, and one that doesn't. (click to see map)
At each farm there are 4 monitoring sites. For farms with plantings, there are 2 sites in remnant vegetation patches, and 2 in the new plantings. For farms without plantings the 4 sites are in separate remnants.
Plantings on farms are of varying shapes, sizes and purposes. Analyses will be conducted comparing the size, shape (blocks or strips), structure and floristic composition and diversity and the use by fauna. All revegetation sites are new plantings on previously cleared land.
At each site, monitoring is conducted in the same manner as that for the Tumut, Nanangroe and Jervis Bay studies - pitfall and trapping for small mammals and reptiles, frog surveys, spotlighting for arboreal marsupials, and bird surveys.
- Wildlife Friendly & Productive Farms
42 minutes. Produced by Kelly Communications Pty. Ltd.
This DVD explores the fascinating insights of farmers of the South West Slopes of NSW and wildlife ecologists as they discuss ways that farms can be better managed for both conservation and production outcomes.
To request a copy of this free DVD, phone 02 6215 7800.
If you already have a copy of this DVD and would like to make more copies feel free to burn as many as you require. We would encourage you to print a colour cover to fit a standard DVD-size case.
This project is funded by the Australian Government's Natural Heritage Trust.