"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Research Branch Report No. 269

Changes in bird and mammal populations after harvesting eucalypts for sawlogs and pulpwood in East Gippsland.  R.H. Loyn and M.A. Macfarlane.  November 1984.  19 pp. plus App.  (unpubl.)


Birds and mammals were studied on two areas (Maramingo and Reedy Creek) in the foothill forests of East Gippsland, south-eastern Victoria. The areas were harvested for sawlogs and pulpwood in 1976 and studies were made before and at various times afterwards to 1980. Bird populations were assessed by area search and mammals were studied by live-trapping, observation and predator scat analysis.

One year after harvesting, bird populations in both areas were reduced to 50-60% of pre-harvesting levels, but returned to 90% after four years. Some new species entered the harvested parts and most forest species remained. Some that forage aver open ground or in low vegetation increased in number, whereas others became confined to unharvested parts, or foraged in retained trees or patches of trees. Populations in adjacent unharvested forest showed little change.

Small mammals were initially scarce at Maramingo and abundant at Reedy Creek. At Maramingo they became more common after harvesting, especially in unburnt parts. At Reedy Creek they were reduced and numbers increased gradually as understorey regenerated. These differences reflect changes in understorey cover. Large terrestrial mammals continued to feed and camp on the harvested areas.

Arboreal mammals were scarce in both areas before harvesting and more were observed afterwards. They were feeding in retained trees and all except one species (eastern pigmy possum (Cercartetus nanus (Desm.) Wakefield)) were sheltering in adjacent unharvested forest. Bats continued to feed over the harvested areas.

Five species of introduced animals were recorded after harvesting (one bird and four mammals); rabbits became common at Maramingo, whereas the ether species were observed in small numbers only.

Also published:

Loyn, R. H. and Macfarlane, M. A. (1985)  Changes in bird and mammal populations after harvesting eucalypts for sawlogs and pulpwood in East Gippsland.  Aust. J. Ecol.