The River Red Gum forests in the Riverina line the banks of the Murray-Darling Rivers, the food-bowl of our nation. Many of the trees have stood for over 100 years and are crucial to maintaining the health of this river system, by regulating the water table, filtering water and even increasing rainfall in the area. This area was also known to be home to a number of threatened species including the Regent Honeyeater.
During 2009, targeted surveys were conducted at 67 sites for seven threatened species – the Squirrel Glider, Koala, Large-Footed Myotis, Barking Owl, Powerful Owl, Gilberts Whistler and Superb Parrot. Surveys included 45 nights of harp-trap effort and 10 nights of recording bat calls. Some 137 different species were recorded in total during the survey. This included more than 100 bird species and 11 bat. This data formed a report that was presented to the NSW government in 2009 and some assurance was provided that these iconic forests would be protected. The government has since reallocated a proportion of these forests for logging.
Taronga is home to Squirrel Gliders, Koalas, Barking Owls, Powerful Owls, Superb Parrots and has bred and released Regent Honeyeaters into natural habitat. All of these species rely heavily on the health of the River Red Gum habitat for survival.
The National Parks Association is a non-governmental conservation organisation that seeks to protect, connect and restore the integrity and diversity of natural areas in NSW through campaigning, community activities and bushwalking.