Hotspot Fire Project

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Large Forest Owls Project workshop and wrap-up

Monday, 28th June 2021

Large Forest Owls Project workshop and wrap-up

The Large Forest Owls Project was originally funded to monitor and enhance the habitat of large forest owl species listed as “vulnerable” in the Lower Richmond-Clarence valley.

Over the past two years, the project area has been battered by the 2019-20 fires, floods in 2020, more floods in 2021 and then COVID-19.

Twenty-eight song monitors were placed across the project area, with recordings captured pre and post-fire, providing a unique insight into how these landscapes and species were impacted and recover.

More than 200 nest boxes have been placed on properties after the 2019-20 fires as part of NCC’s Nest Box Project to support glider populations suffering from the loss of hollow-bearing trees.

As part of the project’s wrap-up, a face-to-face workshop was held in April for landholders and agencies in the southern project area. They learnt about the project so far, including results from the song monitors and the basics of the owl species biology and ecology. Participants also reviewed their Hotspots Property Fire Management Plans, and project coordinator and ecologist Pete Knock gave a demonstration of the nest boxes used in the project, tree selection and box installation.

More than 50 people attended, including representatives from Local Land Services, Department of Planning Industry and Environment, NSW Rural Fire Service and National Parks and Wildlife Service. There were presentations by Hotspots ecologist Kevin Taylor, large forest owls specialist David Milledge and Hotspots facilitator Jamie Bertram.

While the project is wrapping up within NCC in its current form, landholders have been trained and equipped to continue monitoring the nest boxes placed on their properties, and now understand how to improve and protect the habitat of these vulnerable species into the future.

A final wrap-up event is being organised with an associated Hotspots workshop to bring all the participants back together in July/August.

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