Magazine article Ecos

Insight into Bird Recovery in Logged Areas

Magazine article Ecos

Insight into Bird Recovery in Logged Areas

Article excerpt

A study by the Research Division of State Forests of New South Wales suggests that it takes up to 22 years for populations of most bird species to recover in regrowth areas after intensive logging. The study also showed, however, that some hollow-nesting bird species, such as cockatoos and treecreepers, had not fully recovered because no old trees containing nesting hollows were retained. It may take up to 165 years for such trees to regrow, underlining the importance of their planned retention for native species.

The research was conducted in coupes near Eden, in New South Wales, which were logged in 1976 using protocols that did not include the retention of any old or mature trees for wildlife habitat, or the retention of unlogged forest along drainage lines. Adjacent unlogged coupes containing similar vegetation types were selected for comparison, and birds were counted on one-hectare plots during 1980, 1989 and 1998.

The survey team found that most bird species that foraged among canopy foliage, in the air, among the understorey and on the ground had recovered within 22 years of logging. Five of these species were significantly more abundant in the logged coupes, including the bell miner (Manorina melanophrys), which is often associated with disturbed forest. However, some hollow-nesting bird species, including cockatoos and treecreepers, had not fully recovered.

'Without the presence of some old trees nearby, recovery for some species might not be expected for at least 165 years, when suitable tree hollows begin to form,' say the survey leaders in the journal Emu. …

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