Revegetation and wildlife: What do we know about revegetation and wildlife conservation in Australia?
Sally L. Kimber, Andrew F. Bennett, Paul A. Ryan -
School of Ecology and Environment, Deakin University
Environment Australia, December 1999
- Revegetation and wildlife: What do we know about revegetation and wildlife conservation in Australia? (PDF - 932 KB)
About the report
Revegetation is an important issue in natural resource management in Australia. There is widespread recognition in the community that extensive revegetation is needed to counter environmental problems arising from the loss of native vegetation. One of these problems is a decline in biodiversity in heavily developed landscapes - an ongoing loss of plant and animal species and disruption to ecological processes in which they have essential roles. Revegetation has been promoted as having substantial benefits for the conservation of biodiversity, but the reality is that this is not the main objective of most revegetation activities. In most cases, the primary motivation for revegetation is to address urgent problems in land degradation, to provide shelter for stock or crops, or to enhance the aesthetic environment.
This project was instigated by Environment Australia to identify ways in which revegetation activities can be undertaken to maximize their value as habitat for wildlife. We have addressed a number of objectives, as follows:
- to review existing information relevant to understanding the habitat requirements of native fauna and techniques for maximising habitat quality within plantations (ranging from narrow windbreaks to larger plantings)
- to provide a resource list where further information can be obtained
- to develop technical guidelines, based on sound ecological principles, for maximising the habitat value of planted systems
- to use case studies to illustrate how these guidelines might be applied at a range of scales
- to develop a product for disseminating these principles, guidelines and case studies to relevant stakeholders such as landowners, Landcare and Bushcare facilitators, agroforestry officers and conservation planners
This report fulfils the first part of the task by presenting a review of current knowledge on revegetation and wildlife conservation, together with an annotated list of references where further information can be obtained. Our focus is on the role of revegetation in the protection and maintenance of biodiversity, particularly in rural environments in southern Australia. We are primarily concerned with the way in which revegetation can be used to provide habitat for the native fauna, and thereby contribute to nature conservation in developed landscapes. Because relevant published information is scattered in the literature, the annotated list of references provides an introduction to this material for those wishing to read more widely. The second part of the task is achieved in a companion publication (Bennett et al. 1999) that sets out a series of principles for revegetation activities that will enhance their habitat value for wildlife. It is based upon the material reviewed in this report, but because it is intended for a wider audience less attention is given to citing scientific literature.