birding-aus DESPAIR & ECSTACEY

To: "" <>
Subject: birding-aus DESPAIR & ECSTACEY
From: morris <>
Date: Sat, 06 Nov 1999 09:35:09 +1100
Hi Birders,
I was interested in Peter Waanders comments about the terrible damage
that is happening to the environment through plant diseases, weeds and
salinty problems all caused by us BUT he included in this unhappy list,
the fact that a certain reserve was burnt by a bushfire. Surely this is
not a tradgedy! Most Australian flora is conditioned to bushfires.
Certainly lightning strikes causing bushfires in the mallee are part of
the Australian scene. Regular wildfires can change the species
composition of an area but without even knowing the particular reserve
mentioned, I would hazzard a guess to say that this is the first fire
there in many years. Our pastoral settlement of the land in many places
has reduced the frequency of fire to the detriment of the plant species
communities and or associations. This fire will no doubt cause a new
crop of wattles which will provide insects and seeds for birds in the
future etc. On a recent visit to Tarawi Nature Reserve in Western NSW,
we saw more Striated Grasswrens ( 3 groups, c 8 birds) in a boundary
hazard reduction strip burn of  2 years ago, of about 200 ha at the
maximum, compared with 4 birds in 4 days at Gluepot 250,000 ha! At the
same reserve we also got a good birdlist in a 500 ha area which was
burnt in a Lightning strike 12 months before! Irregular bushfires are
not disasters but are a necessary part of our environment!

Alan Morris
Records Officer, NSWFOC

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