Sunday, March 21, 2010

More on Prescribed Burning

Recently I had published a blog post on prescribed burning which evoked good response. 
The other day I ran in to a good paper on effects of prescribed burning from Australia titled “Survival behaviour of swamp wallabies during prescribed burning and wildfire” 
Scientists Nathan Garvey, Dror Ben-Ami, Daniel Ramp and David B. Croft followed the movements of radio-collared peri-urban swamp wallabies during a prescribed burn and after an unexpected wildfire in the same location a short time later. 
No radio-collared swamp wallabies were killed during the prescribed burn and only one wallaby was observed to emigrate from the area post-fire. Scientist says that wallabies can avoid fire fronts and that this avoidance behaviour may be more successful during cooler fires.  This contrasted to the wildfire where one wallaby died during or just after the fire and another perished in the post-fire environment a few months later. The wildfire also increased emigration post-fire. 
The prescribed burn provided a suitable habitat for wallabies but did not result in a shift in habitat preference. They also say mitigation of the impact of prescribed burns on swamp wallabies may be achieved by allowing sufficient time for habitat complexity to re-establish between burns. 
Details can be accessed at   Wildlife Research 37(1) 1–12    doi:10.1071/WR08029

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