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    Landcare News Items

    Landcare Plantings Save Threatened Woodland Birds

    CTGPosterA landcare project among local graziers is seeing them close a 23 km gap in habitat connectivity for threatened woodland birds and other fauna from Mount Butler and Invergowrie in the west to Gara Gorge and Dangars Falls in the east.

    “Closing this gap in habitat is helping to save from local extinction, some very precious threatened woodland birds,” said Southern New England Landcare’s Karen Zirkler.

    The three-year project is assisting landholders with fencing and native vegetation planting subsidies, along with technical assistance and expertise.

    During spring 2017 as part of the project, Southern New England Landcare engaged ornithologist Andrew Huggett of Insight Ecology, to conduct a bird survey, which recorded a total of 994 individual birds from 69 species. The results of the survey were presented to graziers involved in the project by Andrew Huggett at a field event on 29th September 2018.

    “Woodland remnants surveyed supported 44 species, including the threatened (in NSW) Varied Sittella, locally conservation-significant Eastern Yellow Robin, Dusky Woodswallow, Striated Thornbill, Buff-rumped Thornbill, White-throated Treecreeper and the migratory, hollow-nesting Dollarbird,” said Andrew.

    “Older planted sites (16-25-year-old) were utilised by 22 bird species including Brown Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Rufous Whistler, Grey Shrike-thrush, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Crimson Rosella and Grey Fantail.

    “Intermediate-aged plantings (6-15-year-old) supported 17 bird species, such as Superb Fairy-wren, Yellow Thornbill, Spotted Pardalote and Scarlet Honeyeater - mostly those able to utilise food, shelter and nest sites available in developing shrubs and trees.

    “And young revegetation (1 month - 5-year-old) provided habitat for 34 species, typically more common, open country birds - Eastern Rosella, Willie Wagtail, Australian Magpie and a bird of the paddock-planting’s edge, Yellow-Rumped Thornbill,” he said.

    “These results are significant because they indicate that all the landcare plantings landholders have been doing for the last 30 or more years are protecting livestock and providing some level of habitat for these unique little birds, and of course all the other critters that live there too,” said Karen.

    A poster illustrating the results of the suvey can be downloaded here.

    The next field day in this project will be held near Uralla on Saturday 1st December. More information at www.snelandcare.org.au or by calling 02 6772 9123.

    The Functional Habitat for Threatened New England Fauna project seeks to protect and re-connect habitat for woodland birds and other fauna in a highly fragmented landscape. It is run by Southern New England Landcare, with funding from the NSW Environmental Trust and input from local landholders.

    Image – Eastern Yellow Robin courtesy Iestyn Taylor.

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