Nature Conservation and Biodiversity
Any revegetation project, including those involving a single
species, provides the opportunity to help protect native plants
and animals, and enhance the landscape. By the same token,
poorly designed or located planting can destroy or degrade
important habitats. Whilst landowners may have a legal responsibility
not to clear or damage native forests or grasslands, there
are many other reasons why farmers might wish to encourage
and protect wildlife and indigenous plants.
Native forests can provide timber, posts, firewood, seed,
flowers and other forest products for farm use or sale. Although
farmers generally need to develop a forest management plan
and obtain a permit before undertaking timber harvesting from
their native forests, minor forest products, like fallen timber
for fuelwood, may be freely harvested for personal use in
most areas. This provides farmers with resources that protect
their forests and ensure regeneration, as well as the opportunity
to reduce their farm management and household costs.
Local native plant communities provide the best source of
indigenous propagation material, such as seed and cuttings
for revegetation projects. Only a small amount of seed, roots
or shoots should be collected from any individual plant. Theseselections
should be made from a large number of individuals dispersed
over the entire area so as to maximize the genetic base and
minimize the impact of collection on any individual plants.
In most cases such material cannot be removed from local,
state or federal parks and reserves without a permit.
Tree and seed propagation
The potential of native insects, birds and animals to assist
in controlling pests of agricultural crops and farm trees
is seen as an important reason for protecting native plant
communities. There is increasing evidence of the financial
benefits of ecological functions performed by biodiversity
in farm forestry as well as other environmental functions
such as shelter and shade.
to Reduce the Impact of Pests
to Reduce the Spread of Weeds
Despite these and other ecological benefits, it is often the
joy of attracting native wildlife back to the farm that drives
many farmers commitment to native vegetation and wildlife.
Native birds, reptiles and mammals, if not present in large
numbers, rarely threaten agricultural productivity. Providing
a small amount of suitable habitat on just one farm can make
a significant contribution to the protection of regionally
important plant and animal species. Patches of native vegetation
can act as islands or refuges while shelterbelt, roadside
and waterway revegetation can act as valuable corridors allowing
species to move into new areas or isolated communities to
interbreed. The principles of designing tree planting and
management projects to support native wildlife are simple
and easy to integrate into most farm forestry programs.
Revegetation Projects For Wildlife
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