Rabbits, kangaroos and seedling survival in Endangered buloke woodlands: Project update

Date: 27, Oct, 2019
Author(s):   Ami Bennett, David Duncan, Emily Baldwin, Libby Rumpff and Peter Vesk
Publisher: TSR Hub

Grazing and browsing by herbivores like rabbits and kangaroos can be a serious impediment to restoring degraded ecosystems. We used a field experiment to investigate survival and browsing damage to seedlings in an Endangered vegetation community, Buloke woodlands. The knowledge gained will also benefit the conservation of other woodland communities where active or natural regeneration is impacted by browsing. Mere survival is not enough for seedlings exposed to strong browsing pressure. They need to attain a height and bulk where they are no longer vulnerable to herbivores. That is, they must definitively “escape” herbivores in order to reach maturity and ensure future populations. In buloke woodlands, this has been estimated to take around nine years or more.