Re: birding-aus Re: Native trees & foreign birds

To: "Brian Fleming" <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Re: Native trees & foreign birds
From: "Vicki Parslow Stafford" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Feb 1999 21:25:14 -0500

> From: Brian Fleming <>
> I am glad to say that we have been able to convince our local Banyule
> Council of this too. A major effort, led by Warringal Conservation
> Society from 1989 on, and other bodies as well, to re-establish local
> indigenous flora at Banyule Flats concentrated on establishing
> understorey plants, as well as eucalypts, before the removal of
> brambles, hawthorns and other nasties. This has definitely helped native
> species in what was formerly an overgrazed cattle pasture. We now see
> Bronzewings under the wattles, at any rate when there's any seed to pick
> up.

A very good point.  The removal of all lantana and other exotic understorey
plants in our environmental park resulted in not only the decline or
disappearance of some native birds from the area, but also the unchecked
overgrowth of ground-cover type exotics (eg wandering jew, creepers of
various kinds) and slower-growing pests such as ockna (sp?).  A few years
ago my husband and I had to rescue two juvenile kookaburras which had
become hopelessly trapped on the ground in a mass of wiry-stemmed creeper
and were close to death.

Perhaps local authorities etc need to develop better short- to medium-term
plans for regeneration, which include mass plantings of fast-growing,
short-lived native understorey plants, while planning for their eventual
replacement or supplementation by slower-growing species.  This needs to
include native grasses and annuals in the appropriate habitats,
particularly around waterways, drainage channels etc.  It helps if the
right hand knows what the left hand is doing.  It's not much help having a
local environmental plan which takes account of such issues when the Parks
and Maintenance folks go ahead with their normal mowing and slashing
schedules (so that drainage channels and waterways are neatly mown right to
the very edge). 

Vicki PS
Vicki Parslow Stafford                 |  "Even if you can't live up
(Procrastination While U Wait)    |   to your destiny, you can
                         |   at least have one".
Ipswich, Qld.  Australia   
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