Wheoh: Part 2 'Wambelong bushfire Warrumbungles' - January 2013





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Published on Jan 27, 2013

On Sunday January 12th 2013 a bushfire was started by lightning in the Warrumbungle National Park. It was known as the 'Wambelong' fire. Fierce hot winds from the north sent it through the park until a wind change from the south turned it north through our property 'Wheoh' at Bugaldie Gap in the Warrumbungles and burnt down the 36 year old hand made house that had been built on a small rise surrounded by scribbly gums. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D586n...]. This short video is about our family journey to inspect the damage and sift through the ashes.

Anyone interested in the rebuilding process might like to go to: http://duckdigital.net/Wheoh/

Some personal observations 12 months later can be found at: http://duckdigital.net/Wheoh/wheoh007...

Few faunal studies have been conducted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Warrumbungles, so the pre-bushfire faunal population is little known.

Although few systematic surveys have been conducted in the bioregion, records from a variety of surveys can be used to illustrate the vertebrate fauna of the bioregion, which consists of a tleast 18 amphibian species, 68 reptiles, 281 birds and 82 mammal species.

Many of these species are considered threatened, including the endangered malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), for which the bioregion contains important habitat, and the vulnerable koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) which has important populations in the Warrumbungles, the Pilliga and the area around Gunnedah (NSW NPWS 2000a). In this bioregion the tree species often selected by koalas include Blakely's red gum, river red gum and white box, while pilliga box, poplar box, narrow-leaved ironbark and rough-barked apple are occasionally used for food (NSW NPWS 2000a).

Another significant mammal species in the bioregion is the vulnerable eastern pygmy possum (Cercartetus nanus) which has a very patchy distribution, with more than 10 records of the species known from each of only 5 locations in NSW, the Pilliga State Forest being one of them (NSW NPWS 2000a).

The birds of the bioregion are highly diverse, mainly consisting of tropical woodland species and comprising the largest number of Australian resident species of any bioregion. There are no major populations of rare or threatened birds in the bioregion and although many birds within the bioregion have restricted ranges, none is endemic. Exotic species are low in numbers and those present are located mainly around towns.

Although bird species diversity is high relative to other NSW bioregions, the Brigalow Belt South Bioregion has experienced major declines in ground-nesting, ground-feeding insectivorous and grassland birds, a trend common to many parts of Australia. An increased reporting rate in the bioregion's rainforest and temperate forest taxa may reflect greater survey effort in these habitats. Reduction of bird diversity in habitat fragments and the continued loss of woodland and freshwater birds seem to be the prediction for the future. However, there was an increase in the numbers of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and the common myna (Acridotheres tristis).

See: http://www.habitatadvocate.com.au/?ta...


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