I’m recommending you view a video presentation (can be accessed by clicking the link below) by A/Prof. David Paton which demonstrates the urgency of reforesting the region around Adelaide. Glenthorne is a 208-ha property 17 km south of the Adelaide’s central business district owned and operated by the University of Adelaide. A major revegetation project called the Woodland Recovery Initative is being organised to achieve the following:
- reclaim approximately 100 ha of farmland and reconstruct a suitable habitat that encourages the return of native species
- establish a world-class research centre
- employ scientists, technicians, teachers and managers to deliver research, educational, community engagement, monitoring and on-ground works
- develop educational programs that involve local schools in the environmental works, so that young South Australians are engaged in the project and see it as important to the future of their community
In my view, this is a really exciting opportunity to test experimentally the best ways to restore woodlands to maximise biodiversity retention. Once revegetated, the Glenthorne property will link existing reserves to maximise forested area (and as we know, increasing habitat area is one of most effective ways to prevent extinction). The next step is to apply the knowledge gained from the long-term experimentation at Glenthorne to revegetate the regions surrounding Adelaide that have suffered 200 years of heavy deforestation.
I strongly encourage local support of this initiative – it’s not only biodiversity that will benefit – ecosystem services on which the human residents of the greater Adelaide region depend (including extremely important things such as water retention and carbon sequestration) will also be efficiently enhanced by evidence-based ecological restoration of the region. We could certainly use better natural water retention and more carbon sequestration in addition to the re-establishment of many extirpated native species!