ABOVE: Envite’s Maree Thompson, landowner Jimmy Malecki and Envites’ Dan Cox pulling out weeds at Bungawalbin. Photo: Susanna Freymark
Two years ago, bushfire ravaged Bungawalbin land.
Property owner Jimmy Malecki had to flee his home known as The Bog on the day the fire tore through the tall trees.
The film maker is documenting the recovery from the bushfire which includes regular visits from the Envite team.
Envite coordinator Maree Thompson said they were working with Landcare groups and about 10 private landowners and working on seven National Park reserves.
Jimmy’s property was a key site for the Bushfire Recovery Program, Maree said.
We’ve worked for a year managing weeds.
They were now seeing the natural regeneration of native vegetation. And that recovery is being filmed by Jimmy.
“The video will tell the story of the impact of fires on the local community and wildlife and habitat. It will capture involvement of the community, Bandjalang traditional owners, Bungawalbin Landcare, landholders and other bushfire recovery actions,” Jimmy said.
He wants the film to show how local communities can work together to deliver bushfire recovery activities for native flora and fauna.
With more than 70% of the biodiversity of NSW located on private land, Bungawalbin private land provides significant habitat for threatened species and endangered ecological communities, Jimmy said.
Jimmy and the Envite team believe the weed and vertebrate pest control work at such a critical time will contribute to the recovery of 11 priority threatened species.
The Bungawalbin project area is part of a large wetland system of floodplain lowland subtropical rainforest, coastal swamp forests, coastal floodplain wetlands, and dry sclerophyll forest.
The area has one of the most significant areas of fauna biodiversity in north-east NSW with 11 priority threatened species such as the regent honeyeater, glossy black cockatoo, koala, yellow-bellied glider, spotted-tail quoll, long-nosed potoroo, grey-headed flying-fox, golden-tipped bat, platypus, giant barred frog and oxleyan pygmy perch.
The bushfires two years ago were followed by floods resulting in ideal conditions for growth of both weeds and regeneration of native plants.
Lantana is one weed that was burnt in the fire but along with other weeds has quickly re-established to compete with regenerating native plants.
“Without control of weeds and vertebrate pests, wildlife habitat will be further degraded and lost adding to the major threat of extinction for threatened species,” Jimmy said.
Jimmy’s film will be released in April next year.