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Byron Shire
October 28, 2021

New projects help save threatened species in Nightcap National Park

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‘Difficult terrain’: Wanganui Gorge in Nightcap National Park. Photo supplied

Maree Thompson

Two new projects have been launched which are helping save over 28 threatened plant and animal species in Nightcap National Park.

Large areas of lantana and other weeds have blocked regeneration of critically endangered lowland rainforest. Weeds are a major threat to rainforest survival. The rainforest provides habitat for threatened species including frogs, birds, reptiles, beetles and many rainforest plants.

Bush regenerators at Wanganui Gorge in Nightcap National Park. Photo supplied

Envite Environment hosted the launch to recognise funding from both the Australian and New South Wales governments. The projects build on a decade of successful rainforest and threatened species habitat restoration. The major source of funding has been NSW Environmental Trust through its restoration and rehabilitation program.

Bush regenerators are working in Wanganui Gorge and the Minyon Falls area. They are controlling weeds which degrade rainforest and invade gaps, limiting rainforest regeneration.

Iain Stych, Envite Environment bush regeneration team leader said ‘The work is challenging but very rewarding. We work in steep, rocky terrain and contend with ticks, leeches and heat. Once weeds are controlled, rainforest is regenerating strongly and taking the place of weeds.’

Fauna ecologist, David Charley, spoke about fauna surveys in Nightcap National Park and habitat restoration for the endangered Eastern Bristlebird in the Border Ranges area. His monitoring results are showing that restoration works are expanding the area of habitat being used by threatened species.

Dailan Pugh, private owner of Wompoo Gorge prior to the area being incorporated into NPWS estate, said ‘I never envisaged that the area would be restored in my lifetime but now, after a decade of restoration work in the southern area of the property, it is nearly done.’

The projects are funded by NSW Environmental Trust and the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Recovery Grants. The threatened species recovery project is also contributing to Eastern Bristlebird habitat restoration on private land adjoining Border Ranges National Park.

The project area is habitat for threatened species including, Wormpoo Fruit Dove, Rose Crowned Fruit Dove, Marbled Frogmouth, Albert’s Lyrebird, Sooty Owl and Red-legged Pademelon, Red Bopple Nut, Red Lilly Pilly, Thorny Pea, Davidsons Plum, Hairy Quandong, Barred Frogs, Three-toed Snake-tooth Skink and the Eastern Freshwater Cod.


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  1. I tried to get into this section of the national park before but the track was closed can you tell me if there is another entrance into the gorge
    Cheers Michael.


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