Land clearing & habitat fragmentation
- Land clearing is already at a critical level – clear as little vegetation as possible for your driveways, house sites and infrastructure. Once the forest has been cleared it will take many years to or may never regenerate to its pre-cleared state.
- If you need to clear, try to restrict clearing to re-growth areas and where possible, remove only the under-story. The rainforest canopy is home to many threatened and endemic species and is much harder to replace.
- Land clearing also causes the adjacent forest to dry out (walk 20m into the rainforest – you can almost see the humidity increase). Leave as much buffer zone around old-growth forests as possible.
- Clearing land will also affect hydrology of the surrounding soils and alter the existing vegetation. Leaving a buffer zone or regrowth around old-growth areas will reduce this affect.
- Contact the Douglas Shire Council to see if you need a permit for clearance.
- The presence of bridges and roads alters hydrology, fragments habitat and results in road kill. Some native animals avoid roads, resulting in wildlife populations becoming isolated and causing a disruption to seasonal movements and genetic interchange. Keep your driveway as short as possible and avoid crossing creeks.
- The habitat fragmentation impacts of a road can be amplified by road use, which results in noise, vibration, movement, dust, emissions, and lights, each of which can interfere with wildlife activities and behaviour. Drive carefully, especially at night.