‘Future Proofing’ the species of the Big Scrub
Both Big Scrub Landcare and Rainforest Rescue were founded by Dr Tony Parkes, OA.
Big Scrub Landcare is our sister organisation, and they do a tremendous amount to protect and restore the rainforested area known as the Big Scrub, here in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Big Scrub Landcare is also acting to protect the rainforest from the threat of wildfire through the Saving our Rainforests from Fire project. The project will undertake urgent post-fire scientific research and assessment of the impact of recent bushfires on rainforest in northeast NSW, informing an appropriate post-fire response to improve the long-term management, protection and resilience. We wanted to share this message from Rainforest Rescue Chair, Madeleine Faught, so that you can learn about what’s being done to address the terrible damage done to these ancient rainforests and how you can help.
There are many of us who are genuinely concerned about the impacts of the recent destructive fires on the Nightcap and surrounding forests of far northern NSW, and want to help protect their critically important World Heritage threatened and endangered Gondwanan species.
We know that some people are keen to just ‘get out and plant’ trees immediately in fire areas – to replace those lost or seriously damaged in the fires. While this is commendable, it is not actually the best approach, nor will it offer long term solutions to protection for these areas. As you can imagine, many of the species of concern in the Nightcap do not occur anywhere else, are not grown in nurseries, and simply planting other species into their habitat would not be helpful and could be a threatening process in itself.
Independent researchers are currently in discussions with National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to establish the basis for detailed Recovery Planning and implementation of strategies to secure the best possible outcomes for the different forest communities and species in the Nightcap area. One of these is Rainforest Rescue’s own scientific advisor, evolutionary ecologist Dr Robert Kooyman. As someone who has spent much of his long-time investigative research focused on the Nightcap and these ancient Gondwanan species, his knowledge and contribution are vitally important. This is a positive starting point, however, there is limited funding to support these efforts or the research.
Enter Big Scrub Landcare (BSL), who have been active in the northern rivers area for over 25 years. A committed and passionate group of practitioners, community contributors, and ecological experts, BSL have focused on engagement with the north coast community and building their awareness of the importance of our local forests. The fires, and their impacts, stimulated a huge number of requests from people who want to know where to donate to achieve better outcomes for these forests. BSL has now set up a specific website in response to these requests which offers a place where concerned folks are able to donate towards better outcomes for these forests.
Once funded, this research will help to define ‘future-proofing’ these remarkable forest species by assessing the extent of damage on species and then monitoring the natural recovery processes. We desperately need this research in order to provide tangible feedback toward positive outcomes.
Rainforest Rescue supports the Big Scrub Landcare with this initiative. These forests and their unique species need our assistance. They are, after all, part of a community and we all know how important community is to our wellbeing! All donations are tax-deductible and will go towards supporting the baseline research needed to evaluate fire impacts, the path to native forest recovery, the impacts of fire on threatened species, and to manage post-fire weed responses.
When communities work together they can achieve great outcomes. Let’s make an all-important start to building on the return to health of these critically important forests.
Thank you for supporting Big Scrub, our partner in conservation, and thank you for being an integral part of Rainforest Rescue.
Together we are working to protect rainforests forever.
For the rainforests,
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