ForestrySA has focused on the establishment of biodiversity corridors in our Mount Lofty Ranges and Green Triangle forests over many years, in a bid to link areas of isolated native forest with strips of revegetation.
The South-East Biodiversity Corridors Plan was produced by ForestrySA in 2003 and planning and planting of 20 corridors is now well underway. Another five corridors will be established over the next 15 years.
ForestrySA has planted the corridors with the help of schools, volunteers, and community groups.
The ForestrySA Schools Biodiversity Program ran for 14 years between 2008 and 2022, with a large input from Millicent High School, Newbery Park Primary School and Glenburnie Primary School.
Community groups, not-for profit organisations, and other schools also contributing to the program included Trees for Life, BirdlifeSA, Nature Glenelg Trust, the Department of Correctional Services, Millicent Field Naturalists, Kids Helping Cockies, Tenison Woods College and Grant High School.
An estimated 30,000 volunteers have provided more than 60,000 hours to help establish the corridors!
Corridor Bird Monitoring is the longest survey of its kind conducted within the corridors. Monitoring covers over 20 sites and was conducted annually during a 13-year period. Over 130 bird species have been identified using the corridor. Monitoring surveys have also uncovered our target species in the corridors, such as the southern brown bandicoot, sugar glider and koala.
What are biodiversity corridors?
Biodiversity corridors are areas of vegetation that allow animals to travel from one patch of native forest to another. A corridor provides shelter, food and protection from predators by imitating the structure and diversity of native vegetation. Birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and insects that would otherwise be isolated in one native forest patch, can utilise corridors to move between patches with relative ease and safety.
Why do we need corridors?
Our landscape was once covered by a mosaic of different vegetation types such as swamps, grasslands, forests and heath. This mosaic supported many species of animal that moved, mated and dispersed throughout their territories and beyond.
Disturbance such as clearing has left only isolated fragments of vegetation. Species unable to move across this changed landscape are vulnerable to local extinction. Local incidents of fire or disease can devastate populations existing in tiny native fragments, with species unable to recolonise the area as they once had. Corridors can help species to repopulate an area following local disturbances, assisting the long-term survival of the species.
How do we create a corridor?
Ideally, areas of vegetation are retained between larger blocks of native forest to allow for animal movement. On a farm property, this could be along a creek line or boundary fence. Around 40m is a reasonable guide for corridor width, however wider corridors are more likely to be utilised by shyer species.
Direct seeding can be used to quickly establish large areas of vegetation. Using local species of plants will ensure the seeding is successful in your local conditions, and will also help provide the food and other resources that wildlife need. Hand planting trees allows you to space them as they would be in native forest, so that trees grow quickly without competing against each other.