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Mapping native bushland across the Central Tablelands

Survey work has began on a new project to map the last remnants of natural bushland that can be found across the Central Tablelands.

Areas of remnant vegetation will be classified and documented, bringing together invaluable information about the type and extent of native plants and ecological systems that have survived in the modern landscape.  In coming months the first 150 of a proposed 400 key sites will be visited to record the diversity of native plants within these remaining islands of native vegetation.

The first sites to be surveyed were located around Orange and Bathurst.  Central Tablelands Local Land Services staff have already begun the lengthy process of contacting landholders seeking permission to access these areas.

“There is currently a lack of detailed information about what native vegetation still remains in this area,” said Dr Milton Lewis, from Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“The mapping surveys will assist in planning how we can reconnect these areas of native vegetation across the region.”

“It’ll help us work out where we can most effectively invest in building wildlife corridors, and also better determine how to put back the right plants in the right places to restore the natural habitat native species need to survive.”

Central Tablelands Local Land Services and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) are working together on the mapping project.

“These surveys will support Local Land Services’ biodiversity strategy which aims to reconnect critical patches of natural habitat, such as the large area of remnant native vegetation that can still be found on Mount Canobolis, near Orange.”

“There are also many sites in the Abercrombie area and Fish River areas where this information can help us reconnect isolated patches of bushland.”

“Creating connectivity between these areas gives native species the ability to move through the landscape, increasing their potential to survive and recover from threats such as bushfire, drought, floods, and disease outbreaks.”

“We know there are a lot of landholders out there who are enthusiastic about the preservation of native species, and have an interest in restoring native vegetation to provide habitat, and they’re making an important contribution to biodiversity restoration.”

“However isolated patches of vegetation are not enough to sustain natural biodiversity.  Flora and fauna stranded in isolated patches can easily become extinct if they are not linked to other areas through connecting corridors of native vegetation.”

“There’s an urgent need to reconnect these islands of biodiversity, and where large remnant areas are identified, Local Land Services will look for areas nearby where it might be possible to construct connecting strips of native vegetation, such as along river courses.

“We can then negotiate with public and private landholders about whether they’d be willing to work with us on revegetation projects.

“This is an exciting project that will give us a much more detailed understanding of the natural habitat that has survived on the Central Tablelands, and how we can more effectively invest in these areas to reconnect the natural landscape,” concluded Milton.

For more information about the Mapping of Remnant Vegetation in the Central Tablelands project phone Dr Milton Lewis on 0427 239 0880427 239 088.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439 608 3700439 608 370

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