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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Ecology Restored One Tree At A Time

Ecology Restored One Tree At A Time

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, March 30, 2018/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, birds, sustainability, environment

              Restoring Native Trees at Tarin Rock Farm, Western Australia

Ecological restoration is often thought to require big teams of people, working over large landscapes, and spending heaps of money to get results. It doesn't have to be that way. Some mindful farmers in Western Australia are beginning to have a real effect on restoring patches of native vegetation (bush) to their farms. In the process, they are returning some of the ecological functions the native vegetation once naturally provided before being cleared wholesale for agriculture.

According to the Department of Parks & Wildlife of Western Australia, farmers near Tarin Rock in the Southern Wheatbelt have begun forest restoration projects on their farms and ranch properties. The Wheatbelt covers nearly 112,000 acres but contains pockets of remnant vegetation that still support wildlife species like the mallee fowl, the threatened Carnaby’s black cockatoos, and critically endangered red-tailed phascogales a marsupial critter.

One farmer, Mark Pearce, has replanted 20,000 Eucalyptus saplings over 30 acres with assistence from members of a local landcare organization. His restoration project has helped link the remnant bushland patches on his farm to a nearby nature reserve by creating a 'wildlife corridor' for animal movement. His project has boosted ecosystem health, biodiversity, and helped protect a population of the night-dwelling phascogales allowing them to move through his farm to other native bushlands. So far, dozens of additional Tarin Rock farmers have replanted more than 250,000 native trees and plants across several private properties now covering covering more than 450 acres of new bushland. e through the habitat.


           Bushland Restoration, Tarin Rock, Southern Wheatlands (credit: Department of Parks & Wildlife, Western Australia)

The results of these farmer's restoration efforts are impressive and their leadership should be celebrated. They show a 'playbook' to encourage others to do likewise. It is also fun to watch the ecological processes re-unfold one tree at a time.



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