Tall open forest, dominated by eucalypts cover less than 5% of Australia yet these areas support a myriad of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals. Old trees are essential in these forests as they supply nesting hollows for some birds and possums. Wherever sunlight reaches the forest floor there is also a variety of understorey plants. This diversity of vegetation provides food and shelter for a wide variety of animals including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, koalas, reptiles and birds. The rivers which flow through forests are often also rich in life. Rivers provide all the needs of life for fish, yabbies, platypus and many insects and birds.
Further information about this habitat can be found at these sites:
Animals living in this habitat
Threats included in this Australian Menagerie are:
Cats - eat native animals, compete for food with native animals and may spread disease.
Fire - frequency, intensity and seasonality changes may alter the vegetation composition and reduce or destroy shelter availability.
Pollution - including oil spills, chemicals, sewage, soil washing into water, rubbush (eg. plastic bags, fishing lines and nets), may kill animals or their food supply.
Rabbits - compete with native animals for food and shelter, ringbark plants and can change the vegetation composition, disturb the soil and cause erosion.
Foxes - eat native animals, compete with native animals for food and shelter and may spread disease.
Management Strategies included in this Australian Menagerie are:
Cats - are controlled by trapping, shooting, poisoning, fencing, animal proofing garbage disposal units and implementing education programs which encourage responsible cat ownership.
Fire - extensive research to determine desirable fire regimes must be followed by appropriate management of wild fires, hazard reduction fires and fires for ecological purposes.
Pollution - can be reduced through education programs and legislation which aims to reduce household, community and industrial pollution.
Rabbits - numbers can be reduced by introducing biological controls (disease). warren destruction, poison baits, fumigating warrens and fencing.
Foxes - are controlled by poisoning, trapping, shooting, fencing and animal proofing garbage disposal units.