06 Dec GREENING UP THE BARRINGTON WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Aussie Ark is excited to confirm 5,200 trees have been planted over the past month in our Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary.
This ambitious revegetation project is the culmination of months of consultation and planning, and a dream come true.
Aussie Ark consulted expert horticulturalists in the planning stages and was assisted in the physical labour of planting by AGL volunteers.
The aim of the revegetation project in the 400 hectare Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary is to re-establish a diverse midstory within the sanctuary that offers essential ecosystem functions.
“We have identified three main sites which require different plant species. We have higher elevation ridge line sites that suit banksias, acacias and eucalypts. Then we have river sites that suit ferns. And finally we have ‘smilax’ sites suited for vines, which help with biodiversity and erosion control.” – Rory Francis, Aussie Ark Ranger.
Aussie Ark has identified 11 different sites to revegetate. Each of these sites has been planted with over 600 new plants, consisting of a mix of 16 species of trees, shrubs and grasses. The strategy is to provide year-round flowers, food and shelter for the animals living in the Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary.
“This will provide a more resilient ecosystem which will dramatically increase carrying-capacity and animal welfare. A richer, more diverse midstory attracts more birds and also increases the presence of insects. And insects are a major part of the diet for species such as our Eastern Quolls.”
There are only 14 Alpine wetlands in the Barrington Tops’ National Park and every one of them has been degraded by the effects of feral horses and other destructive feral species. But within our feral-proof sanctuary, with its huge feral-proof fencing, once we plant a wetland out that’s protected forever, it’s never going back, it’s never going to be degraded. And that’s huge. That’s got value just within itself.
Mr Francis said the tree-planting achieved this past month is ‘just the start’ for Aussie Ark.
Aussie Ark has the target of planting 100,000 new trees across its reserves. Australia has the worst extinction rate on earth and is one of the worst developed countries in the world for broadscale deforestation. We have cleared nearly 50% our forests in just 200 years. Broadscale deforestation is just one of the many threats facing our wildlife, and why projects like Aussie Ark’s are critical to the long-term survival of Australia’s unique wildlife.