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Ground-truthing the “Mature Habitat Availability Map”

Tree hollows provide important habitat for fauna, but landscape-scale management of hollows is limited by a lack of information on their distribution and availability.  Forest Practices Officer Amy Koch (a past CRC for Forestry student) worked with Forestry Tasmania to examine whether existing mapping layers reflect the relative availability of tree hollows and found that areas with a higher density of mature crowns were more likely to have more hollow-bearing trees. This result has led to the production of the ‘Mature Habitat Availability Map’, that can be used to predict relative hollow availability across the landscape. To assess how well this mapping layer reflects the areas inhabited by hollow-using fauna, Amy will enlist the help of CRC-affiliated students and others who are examining the use of hollows by fauna.  She will compare their data on nest/roost locations and hollow-bearing tree density with the habitat classification from the mapping layer.  Anyone with relevant locality data on hollows used by fauna are invited to contact Amy.

BIOBUZZ ISSUE FIFTEEN, DECEMBER 2011