Blaxland, Australia
Blaxland, Australia

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Smith P.,Ecological Consultants | Smith J.,Ecological Consultants
Pacific Conservation Biology | Year: 2010

Urban edge effects can have an adverse impact on native flora and fauna in the adjoining bushland. We surveyed edge effects at sites in the Blue Mountains where the urban area is separated from bushland by a perimeter road. Common edge effects included weed invasion, physical disturbance of the vegetation and soil, incidental rubbish, dumped rubbish, dumped plant material, tree felling/lopping/ringbarking and visits from domestic dogs. Uncommon edge effects included recent hazard reduction bums, bushrock collection, and poor tree health (dieback not associated with fires). The maximum extent of obvious edge effects (all types combined) varied between sites, from 9 m to 60 m from the edge of the road. At most sites (77%), edge effects were restricted to distances of 40 m or less into the bushland, but a significant number of sites (23%) had more extensive edge effects. Sites with extensive weed invasion were associated with older housing, suggesting that weed invasion will increase over time at sites adjacent to younger housing. Weed invasion frequently extended further than 60 m into the bushland along drainage lines and tracks, especially the former, but these were not included in the measurements. Edge effects were more extensive on flatter topography than downslope of housing, apparently because the former is subject to more intensive use by local residents. The actions of local residents have a major influence on edge effects, and are responsible for much of the variability observed between sites. The findings of this study are consistent with previous studies of edge effects around Sydney and elsewhere. Based on the results of the study, we recommend that a buffer of native vegetation at least 60 m wide should be retained around significant flora and fauna habitats to protect them from edge effects. Additional management actions are required to control vegetation degradation along drainage lines.


Smith P.,Ecological Consultants | Smith J.,Ecological Consultants
Corella | Year: 2014

The diet of the Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa was studied at Blaxland in the lower Blue Mountains, New South Wales, by analysis of regurgitated pellet material. Small and medium-sized mammals were the most common prey, as also documented by previous studies. However, birds and reptiles contributed an unusually high proportion of the diet, especially the Pink-tongued Skink Cyclodomorphus gerrardii, which was the second most important prey species, by both number and biomass.

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