Friday, October 8, 2010

Keppel Lookout over Marysville, October 2010

Keppel Lookout, south of Marysville, the epicenter of the public effect of bushfire. The Cathedral Ranges are seen further north. As of late 2010, the effects of fire are still visible.

Stephen Smith from the local Department of Sustainability & Environment talked to us about some of the observed ecological responses to fire. Some devastated, some rejuvenated. Positively, some endangered species, such as the Buxton Gum, fall into that latter category, which is apparently flourishing after the disturbance February 7th, 2009, provided.

The story of the Barred Galaxias (Galaxias fuscus, right) is particularly fascinating. Prior to the fires, the greatest threat to the fish was due to colonisation of its habitat by introduced Brown and Rainbow Trout. Incredibly, what preserved the fish's distribution in the streams near Marysville was due to a poorly constructed culvert that acted as a trout barrier. It's incredible that, occasionally, human negligence and poor engineering skills can have a positive effect on an endangered species.

The culvert has since been repaired, and replaced with a constructed trout barrier.

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