Owl recovery in post fire East Gippsland

With funding thanks to the Ross Trust , the EGCMN now has a new bush fire recovery project focused on Large Forest Owls.

The new project will cover  Sooty, Powerful and Masked Owls,  which are both charismatic and of conservation significance as ‘keystone species’ , listed in Victoria as rare, threatened and endangered, respectively.

Masked Owl – one of the species effected by the bush fires and focus of our project

 

Owl specific habitat requirements, such as hollow bearing trees are known to be susceptible to and detrimentally affected by intense fires.

 

Prime Owl habitat (old growth forest) subject to intense wild fire in the Kuark Forest, east of Orbost.

The project will complement and add to existing bush fire recovery works being implemented by the Victorian Government by providing the project outcomes (results via reports and spatial data) to supplement and add to the developing understanding of fire impacts on and remediation measures for these iconic species.

The project will also evaluate and report on previous attempts by the Conservation Management Network to provide supplementary habitat for Masked Owls to better inform the use of critical habitat supplementation in areas effected by fire and habitat fragmentation.

Artificial Masked Owl habitat being installed as part of a previous GPCMN project, will now be monitored and evaluated to inform future habitat supplementation measures.

Anticipated key project outcomes:

• Improved information on Owl habitation of ten key ‘Owl management areas’ post fire, to inform decision making on further surveys and enable existing Victorian government programs to identify and commence investment in required management interventions.

• Better understanding on the use and suitability of artificial/ supplementary habitat for Masked owl to inform future use in bush fire effected habitat.

• Increased cooperation, partnership development and capacity of government land management agencies and local community environment groups

• Improved knowledge of recovery requirements for LFO and costings to inform and seek further funding from government and other sources.