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Ecological thinning ensuring optimum habitat

ECOLOGICAL THINNING ENSURING OPTIMUM HABITAT FOR THREATENED REGENT HONEYEATER

A program of ecological thinning of vegetation has commenced in the Capertee Valley to ensure optimum habitat for the critically endangered Regent honeyeater.

In recent decades, more than 250 hectares of habitat has been established in revegetation work by volunteers, landholders and groups such as BirdLife Australia, partnering with Local Land Services.

However some of the trees were planted a little too densely and thrived so much that the canopy needed to be thinned to encourage a more natural woodland.

“What we are looking for in the habitat for the Regent honeyeater is flowering because the birds are dependent on the nectar,” said Evelyn Nicholson, Land Services Officer with Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“But if the trees are too close, they can’t spread out naturally like good habitat trees should, so we are trying to help that process along by thinning some of them,” she explained.

On the property ‘Junjira’, thinning of a revegetated area has been undertaken according to conditions set out in a certificate under the Land Management (Native Vegetation) Code.

“The challenge here was the trees were outcompeting each other for moisture, nutrients and light,” said Jill O’Grady, Sustainable Land Management officer with Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“We needed to provide a uniform thinning certificate that allowed the landholder to understand what stem density was required so they weren’t overthinning or underthinning,” she said.

Landholder, Ross Halfacree, who enjoys the property as a getaway with his family said he was happy to be part of the thinning project because he wanted to improve the environment.

“I’d like other people to look at the property and what we’ve done and maybe take away good ideas to increase the biodiversity of their real estate,” Mr Halfacree said.

He said working with Central Tablelands Local Land Services was terrific.

“They helped me with the science and they took into account the time that I had available, but above all the passion and dedication they had was infectious.” said Mr Halfacree.

Media contact: Cassie Jones - 0408 504 825   Email: cassie.jones@lls.nsw.gov.au

Video case study about 'Junjira'