Australian news, and some related international items

Australia’s ‘permanently wet’ rainforests now burning for the first time

Bushfires devastate rare and enchanting wildlife as ‘permanently wet’ forests burn for first time    ABC, RN BY ANN ARNOLD  27 NOV 19  The rainforests along the spine of the Great Dividing Range, between the Hunter River and southern Queensland, are remnants of Gondwana, the ancient supercontinent that broke up about 180 million years ago.

“Listening to the dawn chorus in these forests is literally an acoustic window back in time,” ecologist Mark Graham tells RN’s Saturday Extra.

“It’s like listening to what the world sounded like in the time of the dinosaurs.”

The forests are mountaintop islands that have been “permanently wet” for tens of millions of years.

But now, these forests are being burnt for the first time.

“We are seeing fire going into these areas where fire is simply not meant to go,” says Mr Graham, a fire specialist with the Nature Conservation Council.

Most of the focus of Australia’s catastrophic fires has been on people and property — with the exception of koalas, which have come to symbolise the non-human costs.

Beyond the koalas are many rare and fascinating creatures whose lives and homes have been destroyed, or remain threatened.

“The fauna in these landscapes requires permanently wet conditions, and many of the fauna species in these landscapes simply have no tolerance to fire,” Mr Graham says.

The most ancient birds on the planet

The songbirds that live in these ancient wet forests have always lived there…….

One reason the north coast of New South Wales is a global biodiversity hotspot is it has the most species of eucalypts in the world, and the best areas of Antarctic Beech forest.

“These forests are recognised globally for their outstanding universal values because they are essentially the oldest forests remaining on the planet,” Mr Graham says.

The tree hollows host many fauna species, for shelter and breeding. The hollows take centuries to develop to full size. They can’t be replaced.

“You have to wait 200 to 400 years until they develop again,” Mr Graham says.

One of two nature conservation areas he privately owns, and manages for their natural values, has been almost obliterated by fire.

He wants to present only the facts, and avoid fuelling a media and political circus around the fires……

November 28, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, environment

1 Comment »

  1. […] via Australia’s ‘permanently wet’ rainforests now burning for the first time « Antinuclear […]


    Pingback by Australia’s ‘permanently wet’ rainforests now burning for the first time « Antinuclear | AGR Daily News | November 28, 2019 | Reply

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