Can weeds save a rainforest? Fragmentation, Restoration and Succession.

camphorlaurelAlthough seldom talked about, habitat fragmentation is one of the fundamental issues of our age. Secondary regrowth - where vegetation regrows naturally and spontaneously following a history of habitat loss, without human intervention or management - can restore much needed biodiversity and connectivity to fragmented landscapes. However, such "passive restoration" may be degraded in the sense of having reduced species diversity, and a dominance of exotic weeds. Intuitively, such "weed forests" seem a poor outcome, but in this talk he presented some surprising results from the Camphor Laurel forests that dominate regrowth on former rainforest lands in northern New South Wales.

Although these forests are indeed dominated by the exotic weed camphor laurel today, they already harbour a surprising diversity of native species, and - what is more exciting - there is clear evidence that over time they are likely to transition into a vegetation that increasingly resembles native rainforest. Far from being an ecological disaster-area, in this instance the weed-dominated regrowth may in fact represent an important conservation asset in the landscape. 

(This information comes from  a talk given by Dr John Hall at a CDEA public meeting on 28 February 2019)



FoxDid you know that foxes are a major pest in our bushland area?  So too are deer.  However, there is quite a lot of 'friendly'wildlife as well.

Honours student Kirsty Pappalardo has conducted a survey of the wildlife corridor between the bushland on
Horizon Drive, opposite Peter Lightfoot Oval, the McLeod Golf Course and the Mount Ommaney Bushland Reserve.

Feral deer
Feral deer

There has been some success in removing the deer from the Centenary suburbs but it is a difficult task.  

They are becoming more and more wide-spread and are much bolder.  They continue to be very destructive to Bushcare Groups' revegetation and cause serious soil erosion in the reserves.  they have damaged many street trees by stripping off and eating the bark.  They have been the cause of a couple of traffic accidents.  CDEA feels that more funding and people are needed to address this fast-growing problem.  We will continue to lobby Council to rid the Centenary suburbs of deer.  The deer arrived in 2000.