Re. Burning

Subject: Re. Burning
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2005 12:39:57 +1000

Peter wrote "Our preliminary study over the last 4 seasons shows that drought probably
had just as much effect on birds as did the fires.

I would go as far as saying that a drought probably has a far greater impact on birds than a fire.  I'm convinced that past droughts (notably the early 1990's) have been responsible for regional extinctions of Regent Honeyeaters.  Mind you they would have been teetering on the edge because of other factors.

As far as fire goes, it is the pattern of fire - frequency, intensity etc - that affects the flora and fauna of an area.  Fire will benefit some species but disadvantage others.  Think about trying to manage an area for Ground Parrots and Eastern Bristlebirds.  Often found together (or are they?) but essentially have very different requirements in regards post-fire habitat.  It's all a matter of working out what you want to achieve through fire management.

The bottom line is that we live in a grossly altered landscape and "natural" fire regimes are now largely a fantasy.  There are community expectations that infrastructure and lives be protected from fire and these expectations don't necessarily take into account natural processes.

I think you will find that the majority of people on this forum appreciate that current fire management in Australia is doing great harm to the environment.  Rather than sending e-mails to and fro between the converted why not send them to those that might actually be able to do something about it.  Now that we have survived another fire season (in most areas unscathed) it is a good time to get the attention of politicians and bureaucrats outside a period when there is mass hysteria about fires.


David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
Department of Environment & Conservation
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo  NSW  2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382

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