24 Apr 2020 - Rod Campbell
Forestry Corporation of NSW has joined forces with a range of other agencies and organisations to construct and deploy nesting boxes in severely burnt forests in North Coast NSW.
Staff from the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the Rural Fire Service, Forestry Corporation and FAWNA (NSW) are working together to support local wildlife and better understand how nesting boxes can be used as a tool during bushfire recovery.
Forestry Corporation’s Senior Ecologist Chris Slade said the project was initiated from work around Coffs Harbour to build hollows from burnt timber.
“Our Coffs Harbour Field Ecologist Peter Simon was building hollows from burnt timber material and fitting them in burnt forests,” Mr Slade said.
“From there we had a series of conversations, which saw us partnering with FAWNA (NSW) in Wauchope and NSW Rural Fire Service’s State Mitigation Services teams to develop nest box construction, deployment and monitoring project.
“The nesting boxes will be constructed from modified logs as well as timber products, and we expect to install them in a range of forests and locations based on species records, topography and fire intensity in North Coast forests.”
FAWNA President, Meredith Ryan, thanked donors from all over the world who responded so generously to the volunteer group’s Nest Box Appeal launched in November while the fires were raging.
“Without their generosity the project would not have been possible,” Ms Ryan said.
Jamie Bertram from NSW Rural Fire Service’s Planning & Environment Services team also supported the project.
“The environmental impact from last season’s bush fires has decimated the environment across the State and has had a significant impact on the native flora and fauna,” Mr Bertram said.
“This environmental recovery project is a great way to encourage native wildlife to repopulate these fire-affected landscapes and in turn increase the biodiversity values in the forests.”
Project staff are also working with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to plan a monitoring program.
“As we are developing a range of nesting box styles, this is a great opportunity to better understand their value and limitations in supporting wildlife during this recovery period,” Mr Slade said.
“Ultimately we hope to build on the knowledge out there to support a healthier forest ecology in the long run.”
For more information on bushfire recovery on NSW State forests, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au.
Media contact: Rod Campbell 0428 058 549