Robins to rescue!
Andy Taylor, Senior Natural Resource Management Advisor
For the past 5 years South East Local Land Services and its partners have worked with private landholders across the southern tablelands in delivering on-ground projects to assist the recovery of threatened woodland birds, most notably the scarlet robin. Hence the name, The Scarlet Robin Project.
To date we have funded over 60 project sites covering an area of approximately 450ha of identified scarlet robin habitat from Braidwood to Burra to Michelago to Delegate. Participants have planted almost 30,000 native trees and shrubs known to support woodland birds and protected these revegetation sites, including 300ha of invaluable remnant native vegetation, with about 50km of fencing.
The program has supported these, and other, landholders with training events in bird identification, revegetation techniques, the use of camera traps to monitor for wildlife and feral pests, as well as various other events held by our partner organisations.
The start of the sixth year of the program will see the focus move to maintenance and monitoring of the 60 or so project sites. Replacement plantings of trees and shrubs lost through the drought is taking place and the final bits of fencing is being installed. We are conducting bird surveys through the winter months when the migratory species, like the scarlet and flame robins, visit the southern tablelands, as well as vegetation assessments to gauge how the projects sites are improving in their habitat value.
None of what we have been able to achieve so far would have been possible without the willingness of private landholders to integrate wildlife conservation into their properties. So, a huge congratulations must go out to our project participants!
And of course, we are grateful for our enduring partnerships with organisations like the Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council, Upper Murrumbidgee Landcare Committee, Australian National Botanic Gardens, the Threatened species team within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE), Molonglo Conservation Group, Kosciusko 2 Coast, Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council and our funding partner the NSW Environmental Trust.
Any landholder can get involved with supporting threatened species. Planting native trees and shrubs, or fencing remaining bushland to exclude livestock, is the best way to start. Talk to Local Land Services or your local Landcare organisation for more information.