As part of the project delivery, Firesticks has established a series of long term monitoring plots within four of the IPAs. Research in these plots is focused on monitoring the response to fire of a number of vertebrate fauna groups, particularly low and ground foraging birds, terrestrial small mammals and low foraging micro-bats. Systematic standard survey methods are being employed on a seasonal basis (spring-summer, autumn-winter) to assess the fire responses of these fauna groups.
Field rangers and ecologists also undertake opportunist monitoring when out visiting the IPAs. An example of this is the recent sighting of the Peregrine Falcon eyrie in the Gorge at Willows and the Boorabee IPA.
Karen Potter, the Willows and Boorabee IPA coordinator, told us:
“The Willows and Boorabee IPA has been managed by the traditional custodians The Ngoorabul people for over 30 years incorporating traditional fire management practices in their management of country. We work with the environment as our ancestors have done for generations to protect and sustain the natural balance as much as possible. These surveys provide scientific proof that our methods of looking after our country are beneficial to all species with such special sightings as this Peregrine Falcon. We continue to be amazed at the diversity that our IPA offers.”
Images by Ross Hollands