Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Bird use of revegetated sites along a creek connecting rainforest remnants

Amanda N. D. Freeman A B D , Alastair B. Freeman A B C and Simon Burchill B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Birds Australia North Queensland Group, PO Box 37, Belgian Gardens, Qld 4810, Australia.

B Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands Inc., PO Box 1119, Atherton, Qld 4883, Australia.

C Threatened Species Group, Department of Environment and Resource Management, PO Box 975, Atherton, Qld 4883, Australia.

D Corresponding author. Email: northernnature@bigpond.com.au

Emu 109(4) 331-338 https://doi.org/10.1071/MU09089
Submitted: 4 September 2009  Accepted: 27 October 2009   Published: 4 December 2009


The success of the Peterson Creek Revegetation Project, near Yungaburra, Queensland, in providing habitat for rainforest-associated birds was monitored for the first seven years of the project from 1999. Regular 20-min area surveys showed that small and large remnants and plantings all differed in their avian communities. Major contributors to these differences were a suite of rainforest-associated birds that were more abundant in the remnants. Ordination showed that avian communities in plantings 4–7 years after their establishment were generally more similar to those in remnants than were the bird communities of younger plantings. Avian communities in the oldest of the planted sites all changed markedly through time and became more similar to the avian communities in the closest remnant sites. Rainforest-associated birds were observed in plantings as early as 1–3 years after their establishment and some rainforest dependent species were observed as early as 3–4 years after establishment. Of the rainforest-associated bird species observed in the remnants, 55% were also recorded in the plantings at some stage during the study. These results suggest that the project will be successful in providing a corridor between formerly isolated forest patches, at least for some species.

Additional keywords: colonisation, revegetation, restoration.


The authors thank all the TREAT and Birds Australia (North Queensland) volunteers and former SFS staff and students who were involved in this project, particularly Mike McGuire, Ben Constable, Peter Lloyd, Barbara Lanskey, Michael Craig, Leah Seabrook and Daniel Hinnebusch, and the Peterson Creek landowners for access to the corridor. Carla Catterall and another, anonymous, referee suggested many improvements to the data analysis and manuscript, which we appreciate. Amanda Freeman acknowledges the logistical and financial support of The School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies (Yungaburra, Qld, see www.fieldstudies.org), for a portion of the surveys.


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