A new study suggests that increasing tree cover, particularly on stream sides and floodplains, could help bird communities survive during long and severe droughts.
Research lead and ecologist at Charles Sturt University, Dr Dale Nimmo, monitored bird species within different types of agricultural landscapes near the beginning, during and after south eastern Australia’s ‘Millennium Drought’. He found that landscapes with more riparian tree cover retained a higher proportion of their species.
“Our findings suggest that we can create drought refuges for bird communities by protecting, re-vegetating and restoring cleared stream sides and former floodplains,” he said.
This is timely research given that climate scientists have observed El Nino strengthening to levels not seen since the 1997-1998 event that was the precursor to the Millennium Drought.
[img source] roger smith (CCA2.0).
The above story is based on materials provided by the Charles Sturt University.