Forestry Corporation of NSW has launched a program across eastern NSW to monitor native plants and animals in state forests.
The program shows a strong recovery in spring after previous droughts, fires and floods.
North Coast senior field ecologist Mark Drury reports this cutting-edge program is rolling out across the coastal state forests throughout NSW.
Early observations are showing a strong recovery after the extended period of severe weather conditions.
“Last spring was a boom time for our flora and fauna,” Mr Drury said.
“We have already detected a number of koalas, yellow-bellied gliders, parma wallabies and quolls, which are all threatened species.
“This is really encouraging to see, as it shows that the forests are recovering well after the fires in 2019 and 2020.”
The new program rolled out across 300 state forest sites along the east coast, from the Queensland border to Victoria. These sites will be measured in spring and autumn each year using sound recorders, ultrasonic sound recorders and cameras to give valuable information on species’ occupancy and spread in NSW state forests.
“It’s an exciting time in forestry ecology and the start of a new era in wildlife monitoring,” Mr Drury said.
“The monitoring program will allow us to understand the dynamics of animal populations that live in our forests. This will ensure that the species that live in our forests can continue to co-exist with sustainable timber production.
“Our ecology teams use cameras, sound recorders and ultrasonic sound recorders for echo locating bats to remotely monitor wildlife activity over a two-week period.” The program will see this technology deployed at 600 recording plots monitored over five years across the forest, which will provide a huge amount of data for Forestry Corporation ecologists to help understand biodiversity in our forests.”
This new program will compliment a range of existing monitoring programs for threatened species throughout the state
. Forestry Corporation also runs long-term monitoring projects covering species such as the southern brown bandicoot, yellow-bellied glider, koalas, southern brown bandicoots and giant burrowing frogs at various sites throughout NSW. This work will continue.
The new program will provide a baseline understanding for even more species. Critically this will allow forest ecologists to track the trends for species in relation to climate change, bushfires and floods, as well as timber harvesting.
Forestry Corporation is working closely with the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Natural Resources Commission on the program, who were instrumental in establishing the program’s methodology and have oversight of its implementation.