Beautiful Firetail 01
Beautiful Firetail 01

Bringing woodland birds back to the Mount Lofty Ranges

17 Jun. 2024 2 min read

Years of habitat loss drove many native woodland birds out of the Mount Lofty Ranges – find out what’s being done to bring them back.

Years of habitat loss and changes in the landscape saw native woodland bird populations severely drop throughout the Mount Lofty Ranges.

The species most at risk of extinction in the region include the beautiful firetail, chestnut-rumped heathwren, diamond firetail, Bassian thrush and the southern emu-wren.

The recovery of these woodland bird populations requires coordinated and collaborative action.

What’s being done?

A $1 million restoration project is currently underway which will see important heathland and grassy woodland vegetation restored to support the recovery of these threatened bird species.

It’s an important project being delivered by the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board in partnership with the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and the Mount Lofty Ranges Bird Recovery Alliance.

Half of the funding will go to heathland restoration on the Fleurieu Peninsula, while the rest is for grassy woodland restoration in the eastern Mount Lofty Ranges.

A monitoring program will also be set up to better understand the population status of the threatened species.

The heathland restoration in cleared areas of Deep Creek National Park will target the endangered beautiful firetail, however a range of other species including the southern emu-wren are likely to also benefit.

Bringing woodland birds back to the Mount Lofty Ranges

The beautiful firetail

The beautiful firetail is one of the most threatened resident birds in the region and was recently listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Surveys over the past decade have revealed that Deep Creek National Park and surrounds are the last remaining stronghold for the species.

A specific shrubby heath will be reinstated that the firetails require. The firetails are known to visit areas of the park and already make use of revegetation established in previous years.

Addressing the decline

The Mount Lofty Ranges is an area of genuine ecological significance and is considered a biodiversity hotspot.

Unfortunately, however, the majority of resident bush bird species in the Mount Lofty Ranges have been in decline for many years.

This decline can be linked to a combination of factors including habitat loss, changes to fire regimes, and the impacts of native and feral grazing animals on the remaining native vegetation.

The effects of climate change are also expected to exacerbate these threats.


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