Peterson Creek - Research

The Peterson Creek Wildlife Corridor is one of a small number of wildlife corridors in the Wet Tropics, a number of people and organisations have undertaken research to better understand the development and functioning of wildlife corridors. This page lists where possible research that has been undertaken on the Peterson Creek Wildlife Corridor, while some of the papers are unpublished the information is provided to inform people or organisations interested in undertaking further research in this field, or interested in undertaking their own corridor project.

Bird use of revegetated sites along a creek connecting rainforest remnants

Amanda N. D. Freeman A, B, D, Alastair B. Freeman A, B, Cand Simon Burchill B

A Birds Australia North Queensland Group, PO Box 37, Belgian Gardens, Qld 4810, Australia.
B Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands Inc., PO Box 1119, Atherton, Qld 4883, Australia.
C Threatened Species Group, Department of Environment and Resource Management, PO Box 975, Atherton, Qld 4883, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: northernnature@bigpond.com.au

Abstract

The success of the Peterson Creek Revegetation Project, near Yungaburra, Queensland, in providing habitat for rainforest-associated birds was monitored for the first seven years of the project from 1999. Regular 20-min area surveys showed that small and large remnants and plantings all differed in their avian communities. Major contributors to these differences were a suite of rainforest-associated birds that were more abundant in the remnants. Ordination showed that avian communities in plantings 4-7 years after their establishment were generally more similar to those in remnants than were the bird communities of younger plantings. Avian communities in the oldest of the planted sites all changed markedly through time and became more similar to the avian communities in the closest remnant sites. Rainforest-associated birds were observed in plantings as early as 1-3 years after their establishment and some rainforest dependent species were observed as early as 3-4 years after establishment. Of the rainforest-associated bird species observed in the remnants, 55% were also recorded in the plantings at some stage during the study. These results suggest that the project will be successful in providing a corridor between formerly isolated forest patches, at least for some species.

Keywords: colonisation, revegetation, restoration.

Emu 109(4) 331-338. Published: 4 December 2009

Publication of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union

Access full article (paywall)

Emu - Austral Ornithology - www.publish.csiro.au/journals/emu


Vegetation Recruitment of a Habitat Linkage in Tropical North Queensland

Bryan Grant

Summary

Due to the complex nature of ecological succession, monitoring of ecologically restored sites is a necessity to increase our knowledge of the process, and to aid in management decisions to help accelerate these processes. A monitoring and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping project was commenced at the Peterson's Creek Habitat Linkage in order to evaluate the successional processes occurring in the linkage.

103 recruits were recorded regenerating within the corridor, represented by 22 species from 14 families. Recruitment has been estimated to take place after approximately 2 and half to 3 years, with younger plantings recording little to no recruits.

Dispersal of diaspores has been identified as an important factor affecting colonization, and birds are thought to be the dominant dispersal agent. The dominance of small fruited taxa also supports this. Recruits are from a variety of life forms and successional stages, however late successional stage taxa are absent. This has been attributed to lack of available seed and dispersers rather than microclimate conditions and may change as plantings age. Further studies are required within the linkage to further our knowledge of ecological processes in degraded habitats.

Results indicate that recruitment is taking place, therefore it can be assumed that ecological processes are taking place hence the methods used for the rehabilitation of habitats is working.

Unpublished report submitted as a requirement of the third year of the course leading to the award of Bachelor of Environmental Management 2001