Hotspot Fire Project

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Restoring Habitat for National Threatened Species in the Border Ranges

Thursday, 8th November 2012

Mt Lindesay, McPherson Range, the last remaining stronghold of the Eastern Bristlebird

Hotspots was part of a successful joint Caring for Our Country funded project which looks to implement targeted fire management strategies within the Border Ranges (NSW and QLD) to restore critical habitat for the Nationally Endangered Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus), Hastings River mouse (Pseudomys oralis) and NSW state listed Eastern Chestnut mouse (Pseudomys gracilicaudatus).

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW and SE Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium (in association with SE Queensland Catchments) were successful in securing resources over the next 12 months to use fire as a land management tool to help restore critical habitat for the Nationally Endangered Eastern Bristlebird, Hastings River mouse and NSW state listed Eastern Chestnut mouse in the Border Ranges. These species are generally confined to the pockets of open forests with a tussocky grass understorey. These open forest patches are often isolated and embedded within extensive tracks of subtropical rainforests found on both private property and National Park. Research is showing that the grassy patches are critical to these species survival which in turn depend on regular fire for their maintenance. It has been implicated that the change in fire regimes over the last few decades have been a major contributor to the decline of grassy habitat, hence the decline of these species including the imminent extinction of the northern population of the Eastern Bristlebird.

As a result of this worrying trend, an alliance of regional agency and community representatives (across both NSW and QLD via the Northern Rivers and Southeast Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortiums) are using fire and weed management restoration techniques to improve habitat quality and food resourcing for these species. Working across the landscape this project will conduct pre-burn survey work, undertake prescribed burns and follow up restoration and survey activities to monitor population responses.

To learn more about this project contact Greg Banks on gbanks@nccnsw.org.au

For more information about the South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium, please view www.fireandbiodiversity.org.au

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