Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

The effects of forest clearing and regeneration on the fauna of Wivenhoe Park, south-east Queensland

Ronda J. Green and Carla P. Catterall

Wildlife Research 25(6) 677 - 690
Published: 1998


The effects on terrestrial fauna of clearing, fragmentation and regeneration of eucalypt forest and woodland were investigated in a former cattle-grazing area of south-east Queensland. The abundance of species and higher taxa was compared among four major habitat types: interior of relatively mature forest, interior of earlier stages of regenerating forest, cleared pasture, and abrupt edges between the forest and cleared land. The regenerating sites were several decades old and consisted mainly of Eucalyptus saplings 3–6 m high, with a grassy understorey.

Numbers of pitfall-trapped invertebrate orders were significantly higher in forest interior and forest edge than in cleared or regenerating sites; numbers of coleopterans were significantly higher in forest interior sites than in cleared or regenerating sites; and numbers of isopterans were significantly higher in both forest interior and forest edge sites than in cleared sites. Total abundance of native non-flying mammals was significantly higher in forest interior than elsewhere. Other vertebrates apart from birds were detected in numbers too low for analysis. Cleared sites supported significantly lower numbers of avian species and Orders, and of total birds, than any other habitat in winter, with a similar but non-significant trend in summer. Forest interior sites showed a significantly higher abundance of several avian species than any other habitat, but noisy miners and Torresian crows were significantly more abundant in edge sites than in forest interior sites. Sites of low regeneration were chiefly utilised by birds characteristic of forest edge. Many decades of regeneration would appear to be necessary before many forest-dependant species are adequately supported in these areas.


© CSIRO 1998

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