A recently published Government report confirms what many ecologists and rural people have suspected for a long time – planned burning (aka fuel reduction burning) is slowly and surely eliminating hollow-bearing trees (HBTs) from our forests.
Having conducted our own post-fire survey of a recent, “successful” planned burn in the Strathbogie Ranges, the results of this more comprehensive DELWP study are of considerable interest.
The DELWP ecological study, published earlier this year, was conducted across numerous sites in East Gippsland and examined in detail the impact of 30 planned burns (p. 17) on HBTs. While the report findings are alarming, the report is timely and provides valuable insight into the impact of planned burns on forest ecology across the State.
The study assessed a large sample of HBTs across burnt and non-burnt areas. “In total, 1575 HBTs were located and had their characteristics assessed in pre-treatment surveys. Of these, 666 were individually revisited in post- treatment surveys, while the remainder were located in plot types where repeat surveys of individual HBTs were not conducted” (p. 25). Continue reading