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WILDLIFE WORKSHOPS FOCUS ON REJUVENATING NATIVE VEGETATION WITHOUT DESTROYING CRITICAL HABITAT

Brooke Kirkman

Workshops on restoring and managing local wildlife have honed in how to repair the natural landscape without unintentionally destroying critical habitat for native animals.

“People went away feeling inspired and looking to change the way they manage their projects to avoid any unintended negative impacts on native wildlife,” said Mick Callan, from Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

The Workshops were held in Bathurst last week by Central Tablelands Local Land Services in partnership with Landcare and Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance.

“We were targeting people involved in restoring bushland including Bushcare and Landcare volunteers, private land owners, and government agencies, and the response was excellent, with the workshop spots filling very quickly,” said Mr Callan.

“We had a lot of Landcare volunteers taking part along with staff from the Office of Environment and Heritage, and even representatives from the Taronga Western Plains Zoo, all wanting to learn more about the best way to plan large-scale wildlife recovery projects.”

“One of the key messages was the importance of gauging how projects will impact on native species that may already be living in an area where rehabilitation work is planned.”

“Sometimes the weeds are the only habitat left in an environment. If all of the weed species are ripped out at once, you could leave native wildlife homeless and without shelter from predators until new plantings of native vegetation are fully established.”

“By properly assessing the needs of the native animals that are currently living on a site, and then planning accordingly, project managers may be able to carry out weed removal and new plantings in stages, so that the fauna are able to adjust to the changing landscape.”

“It’s not uncommon for projects to focus just on restoring native vegetation, in the hope that will be enough to attract native animals back into an area. With more strategic planning and consideration of the practical needs of wildlife, a more successful outcome can be achieved.”

According to Central Tablelands Regional Landcare Facilitator, Liz Davis, there was also much discussion about the design and construction of infrastructure like wildlife crossings and underpasses to help connect wildlife corridors.

“Structures like this could prove very useful in our region, and the information provided at the workshops gave participants much to think about.”

“We were also looking at practical land management strategies to assist wildlife, including nest boxes, hollow logs, water ladders and pasture management, as well as the translocation and reintroduction of wildlife to bushland areas.”

For more information about native wildlife management and conservation contact your nearest Central Tablelands Local Land Services office in Bathurst, Cowra, Lithgow, Molong, Mudgee or Orange, or call Regional Landcare Facilitator Liz Davis on phone: 0427 452 662 or email: liz.davis@lls.nsw.gov.au