After-fire Warrumbungle National Park: Australian animal conservation
Following the 2013 bushfires in Warrumbungle National Park, recovery of the native animals is being monitored. Active conservation measures are being implemented for the iconic brush-tailed rock-wallaby and koala, with construction of a protective enclosure for the wallabies and a community survey to understand the regional koala population dynamics.
The size and severity of the 2013 bushfires in Warrumbungle National Park raised concerns about the fate of the park’s Australian native animals, in particular the already critically low population of the threatened brush-tailed rock-wallaby, the iconic koala, and the many hollow-dependent animals. Field studies show the brush-tailed rock-wallabies have survived, but monitoring has shown their numbers have declined. Long-term conservation measures being considered include a large protective enclosure to keep out feral predators such as foxes and cats.
The koala population of Warrumbungle National Park was reduced by the bushfires, and this conservation program is enlisting the community to help discover source populations of koalas nearby that can move back into the burnt areas as they regenerate. This program is also investigating the impact of tree-hollow loss on the many species of birds and mammals in the park that need hollows. Hundreds of nest-boxes have been installed throughout the park to aid recovery. In addition, animal monitoring sites are being established for ongoing surveys of birds, bats and reptiles in the park to see how they are responding after the fire.