Narrabri bushfire: flora, fauna recovering after Mount Kaputar National Park bushfire

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Flora in the Mount Kaputar National Park is already starting to regenerate just days after the bushfire was put out. NSW Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) crews are still on the fire ground monitoring the situation, and had noticed species of grass already starting to grow by Friday afternoon. Speaking to the Namoi Valley Independent on Friday afternoon, NPWS rangers team leader Peter Berney said this regeneration was helped by recent rain. And while the Rural Fire Service were concerned that conditions would mean fires may reignite, they also believed the conditions this weekend would ease. Read also: “The rain which fell last weekend was badly needed for both the firefighting effort and the recovery. Already we are seeing signs of snow grass regenerating,” Mr Berney said. “The combination of the chemicals produced from burning vegetation dissolve in water and the rain washes them into the ground. “These chemicals often stimulate the germination of seeds lying dormant in the soil, so in coming months we are likely to see many of the existing plant species together with species that may not have been seen for many years. “The fire may actually cause an increase in plant diversity.” The team leader said NPWS staff had seen good signs with fauna, too, including crimson rosellas on the edge of tree hollows that appeared to be feeding young inside. “Staff sighted over 60 pink slugs, which was pleasing as the fires did impact the areas of the park where they are known to occur,” Mr Berney said. “Woodland birds such as scrub wrens and treecreepers are also very active. Other small birds such as pardalotes are also foraging actively through the tree canopy. “Across the burnt area around Dawson Springs, skinks, goannas and snakes have been observed going about their daily activities.” He said this was because “the fire, while intense, was not a uniform scorch, so some habitats are more impacted than others”. “Much of the south-western section of the park was unburnt [and] provides a refuge for many of the more mobile species such as kangaroos and birds to move to, which will also enhance their chances of surviving during the period when the plant communities in the burnt areas are recovering,” he said. Mr Berney said if staff found any injured wildlife, arrangements would be made for the animal to be cared for by an accredited wildlife rehabilitator.

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