The 2020 fires devastated one-third of Kosciuszko National Park, inspiring volunteer firefighters from southern Poland to raise over $150,000 AUD to aid its regeneration. The donation made to FNPW was in recognition of Polish-Australian relations, particularly considering the national park is named after Polish military leader, General Kościuszko.
The funding which was provided to NSW National Parks and Wildlife, contractors and flora and fauna specialists, have allowed the following activities to commence works.
Funding has been allocated to the survey of birds and insectivorous bats over a total of 28 heavily burnt sites. FNPW is pleased to report that insectivorous bats were present at all 15 bat sites. When compared to previous data, these surveys suggest an extreme drop in the bird population. Funding has been allocated to re-survey these areas next summer. This will provide valuable information on how species are recovering and indicate long term impacts on species populations and status.
Bats are a critical part of healthy, functioning ecosystems – small ‘micro’ bats control insect populations and large ‘macro’ bats pollinate and spread the seed of native vegetation. With the assistance of these funds and the National Parks Foundation, 200 bat boxes have been installed using a methodology to develop knowledge on the effectiveness of two box designs.
NPWS Aboriginal Discovery Ranger, Shane Herrington installing bat boxes
The eroding slope in the sub-alpine zone of Kiandra was stabilised to assist the natural recovery process by reducing the impact of winter conditions on the exposed landscape. Water holding structures were installed at Rocky Plains Bog to combat the extensive loss of vegetation caused by the recent bushfire season.
Field officer and firefighter, Raymond Sanderson installing wind and water control measures at Kiandra. Timber stakes were then cut off for safety.
Recovery of Threatened Species:
The regeneration of the threatened Mountain Pygmy Possum’s (pictured below) habitat was supported by planting approximately 3,500 plants. In addition to erosion control, water holding structures, such as native grass and sphagnum, provide a habitat for many rare native flora and fauna, such as the endangered Broad Toothed Rat. The seeds of vulnerable vegetation and species were collected from sections of unburnt forest to create a seed bank for future planting.
The threatened Mountain Pygmy Possum
The remaining funds have been allocated to work scheduled for next summer and we will provide updates as the regeneration efforts of Kosciuszko National Park continue.
Unfortunately, the enormous impact of the recent bushfire season means that the scope of works required will continue to grow and require further support. If you would like to make a donation, you can do so here.