Restoring rainforest corridors
Location: Northeast NSW, Australia (Byron Shire local government area)
Action: Establishing 20,000 trees to assist in restoring the Big Scrub Rainforest.
Habitat: Lowland Subtropical Rainforest
Threatened Species: 32 threatened species of flora and 12 threatened species of fauna listed under Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Endangered Ecological Community: Lowland Subtropical Rainforest in Northern NSW listed in the Endangered Category under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
Total Cost of Project: $200,000
Over 20,000 trees will be planted to help restore the Big Scrub Rainforest.
Through this project, we will plant another 20,000 trees. This will link up isolated patches of rainforest and create wildlife corridors across the landscape in the Byron Shire in Northern NSW.
Please donate now to get this program growing!
The Big Scrub was the largest expanse of lowland subtropical rainforest in Australia covering an area of approximately 75,000 hectares on rich volcanic and alluvial soils between Byron Bay, Ballina, and Lismore. In the 1860s extraction of timber began. This was followed by clearing for agriculture and by 1900 only one percent of the rainforest remained. Today the subtropical rainforest of the Big Scrub exists as 100 small remnants within a largely cleared landscape.
Intensive clearing of the Big Scrub subtropical rainforest in northeast NSW has left a fragmented ecosystem immensely vulnerable to threats of climate change, bushfires, and invasive weed degradation. This region was once the largest area of subtropical lowland rainforest in Australia. The remnants total less than 1% of the former size, approximately only 1,000 hectares made up of small patches of rainforest scattered across the region.
Deforestation has created fragmentation with the remaining rainforest divided into smaller blocks. This creates the edge effect which has been thoroughly documented over several decades and shows the significant detrimental effects on biodiversity. At the edge of the rainforest flora and fauna experience a changed microclimate through an increase in the wind that reduces humidity and can dry out the rainforest. This results in a changed composition of species and fewer rainforest specialists. Fauna near the edge of the rainforest experience increased predation and deaths from vehicle strikes.
For the threatened species found in the Big Scrub to survive we need to expand the area of available habitat. This can easily be achieved through the planting of trees. Wildlife prefers to use rainforest to move across a landscape as crossing empty paddocks and roads can be life-threatening. This project is assisting with the restoration of a wildlife corridor that connects habitat from the eastern Byron Bay nature reserves up into the western habitat areas of Nightcap National Park.
Planting trees to create a wildlife corridor ate Goonengerry, NSW.
Tree guards protect them from Wallabies while they establish.
Tree planting to restore the Big Scrub Rainforest.