Retaining strips of unlogged forest, called buffers, is a common strategy for maintaining populations of vulnerable species in production forests in Australia. I conducted a study to examine the effectiveness of buffers in maintaining populations of vulnerable bird species in jarrah forests of south-west Western Australia. I examined changes in the population densities of all bird species in buffers in the first 12 months after logging and compared these to changes in logged and unlogged forest. I also conducted detailed ecological studies on Golden Whistlers to determine whether buffers were important for this species and, if so, why they were important. Buffers were important in maintaining populations of vulnerable bird species after the first logging rotation. Of the six species that declined after logging, only one (the Golden Whistler) showed a significant decrease in buffers and the decrease was less than in logged forest. Buffers were important for Golden Whistlers in providing both foraging and nesting sites. Whistlers also moved the location of their territories to include buffers, indicating that they are critical for this species in production forests. Given their importance to vulnerable species, I recommend that buffers are not logged at the second logging rotation until research is conducted that demonstrates that the surrounding logged forest has matured sufficiently to support viable populations of vulnerable species.
|Title of host publication||Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna|
|Place of Publication||Mosman|
|Publisher||Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales|
|Number of pages||9|
|ISBN (Print)||0 9586085 8 X|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|
Craig, M. (2004). The value of unlogged buffers for vulnerable bird species in the jarrah forest of south-west Western Australia. In D. Lunney (Ed.), Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna (Second edition ed., pp. 774-782). Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales.