Coastal IFOA monitoring - Biodiversity

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This area of the program investigates how the Coastal IFOA multi-scale landscape protections and conditions are adequately protecting focal species and their habitat from forestry operations and support their occupancy and persistence in the landscape.

Monitoring species occupancy

The program will monitor trends across landscapes and regions for focal fauna species using occupancy modelling. Where species overlap, this information will feed into the cross-tenure, state-wide fauna occupancy monitoring being undertaken for the Forest Monitoring and Improvement Program.

Data on the presence or the absence of focal species across the Coastal IFOA areas will be used to measure occupancy and detect trends over time. Data will be captured through a field-based monitoring program, mainly consisting of remote survey methods throughout the various forest management zones. This will include the use of infrared cameras and acoustic devices but will also require some species-specific methods, including spotlighting for the greater glider (Petauroides volans).

Monitoring specific fauna species

The species-specific fauna monitoring strategy will adopt the monitoring outlined in each of the Coastal IFOA fauna species management plans (SMPs). These plans contain detailed objectives and monitoring requirements for the species, generally at specific locations, plus review and reporting requirements. The monitoring approach for each SMPs have been reviewed and the previously collected monitoring data is currently being analysed.

Based on the findings of the review and analysis, the SMPs will be improved and implemented so the program can continue to measure the effectiveness of the Coastal IFOA conditions for supporting the persistence of those species management plan fauna species.

Monitoring specific flora species

The species-specific flora monitoring strategy will adopt the monitoring outlined in each species management plans (SMPs). SMPs are being prepared for seven focal flora species, with two already completed and another five currently being drafted.

The SMPs will detail monitoring, review and adaptive management of the Coastal IFOA conditions for those species. Two of the flora species, native jute (Corchorus cunninghamii) and East Lynne midge orchid (Genoplesium vernale) which are currently having SMPs drafted, are already being monitored on Coastal IFOA state forests under the NSW Saving Our Species program The Saving Our Species monitoring work will be incorporated into the monitoring component of the SMP.

SMP monitoring results will be analysed in accordance with the requirements within each SMP. The analysis will be used to determine the effectiveness of the SMPs in maintaining the presence of those species and their habitats within a forested landscape.

Monitoring landscape-scale trends

The University of New England and the NSW Department of Primary Industries Forest Science Unit will deliver baselines, drivers and trends for species occupancy and distribution in NSW forests across all tenures, including Coastal IFOA state forests.

Over 15 leading scientists will form the team including scientists from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment who will adopt indicators and modelling from the NSW Biodiversity Indicators program as part of the work. Professor Nick Reid, University of New England will lead the project. Dr. Rod Kavanagh will coordinate investigators across the project.