Conservationists "Hands On" in Forest Assessments

Biodiversity Survey on NSW South Coast for new National Park

The National Parks Association (NSW’s largest volunteer nature conservation group) and local conservation group Friends of Durass are providing practical, hands on support to the current comprehensive assessments in NSW to determine the new forest parks needed for conservation.

They are leading a survey of plants and animals in the National Estate listed Benandarah State Forest around Lake Durass, near Bateman’s Bay, on the NSW south coast. The four day survey will be carried out between Friday 20 February and Monday 23 February inclusive.

NPA’s Executive Officer, Noel Plumb, said " Conservationists are keen to assist the forest assessment process and make it as comprehensive as possible. We recognise that the NSW Government does not have infinite resources and we are doing our bit wherever possible."

" The biodiversity survey will involve about 70 volunteers from the south coast divided into small teams to research the plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and water quality of the area.. Each team will be led by a qualified expert. The survey will follow scientific guidelines set by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to enable the information to be used in the assessments of forests between Narooma and Nowra on the south coast."

Benandarah State Forest catchment is critical to the long term health of Durass Lake and its reservation as national park has been sought by local group Friends of Durass.

Their spokesperson, Mr Geof Bartram, said "Benandarah’s plants and animals have never been comprehensively surveyed. We are confident that our efforts will show that this National Estate listed area has significant biodiversity values, an important factor in deciding on the new forest parks, and is well worth adding to the reserve system. "

"Friends of Durass has already acted decisively to protect the lake by raising over $100,000 to enable the NSW Government to buy key private land adjoining the lake. This area of 370 ha linked the northern and southern sections of Murramarang National Park. and our aim is to fully protect Lake Durass within a national park as one of the few NSW coastal lakes still encircled by near natural vegetation and stream flow in its catchment."

For further information and photo/film opportunity: Noel Plumb 02 9233 4660 or 018 975 075

Geof Bartram 02 62 816 434 (h)

Benandarah area:
a representative and diverse range of regional ecosystems including forest, coastal, estuarine, riparian and wetland;

130 species of birds recorded - threatened, vulnerable or rare species include Glossy Black Cockatoo, Olive Whistler, Powerful Owl, Regent Honeyeater, Osprey, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers, Hooded Plover, Large Sand Plover

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