Remnant Jarrah Forest
jarrah forest remnants in both rural and urban situations cannot,
obviously, become virgin forest again. Yet these places have significant
Our concepts of weight, strength, texture, colour,
pattern and so on, are all developed through interaction with nature.
Small children playing in sand or testing strengths in breaking
twigs or listening to birds, illustrate the way such things are
learnt. No-one yet has been able to assess the effects of deprivation
of contact with nature on human development. All children should
have access to a patch, however small, of the natural world.
Many birds, plants, insects, reptiles, fungi and microscopic
organisms can be found in jarrah remnants. Examples include Black
Cockatoos where trees on small patches are allowed to grow old and
develop hollows big enough for their nests. Other birds needing
hollows for nests are the Boobook Owl, while Striated and Spotted
Pardalotes need tiny holes. Indeed numerous birds, whose populations
in the forest are dwindling, benefit from forest remnants that are
protected for their natural values. Reptiles such as the Marbled
Gecko, Legless Lizard, Dragon Lizard as well as some goannas and
also frogs in wetter areas, all can be found in forest remnants.
Genes from microscopic organisms and rare plants are
becoming increasingly valuable in agriculture, medicine and industry.
South West Australia supports 1500 vascular plant species and maybe
double that number of macro-fungi. All are in danger of being considerably
reduced even before their existence is fully recorded. Some may
well be found in patches of remnant forest.
The subtle beauty of the jarrah forest gives pleasure
to many people, the more when it is readily available in nearby
forest patches. Jarrah forest is noted for its subtle variations
of light and shade, texture and form, with its startlingly vivid
flashes of flower colour in spring.
Many ethical people believe that everything that exists
in a living universe has an intrinsic right to live. Neither ecosystems,
nor species should be exploited by humans in a way that threatens
their continued existence. No extinctions should occur because of
to Remnants of Jarrah Forest
Weeds, in this sense, are any plants that are not natural
to the jarrah forest. Such plants as Blackberry, Bridal creeper, Watsonia
and Cape Broom are not native. They become very invasive, frequently
over-running shrubs and herbs and, in so doing, changing the nature
of insect and small animal populations.
Feral animals, such as foxes, pigs and cats are a major
problem and are often a threat to small native animals.
The less a remnant patch is dissected by roads, tracks,
buildings or other man made structures the easier it is for the natural
community of organisms to survive.
must convince each generation that they are transient passengers
on this Planet earth. It does not belong to them. They are not
free to doom generations yet unborn. They are not at liberty
to erase humanity's past nor dim its future.
attack and Disease:
When the natural predators, such as birds or other
insects, are destroyed or reduced in number, the area is likely
to be over-run by destructive insects, such as the leaf eating insects
that attack jarrah trees. Similarly, diseases such as dieback, which
can have a very serious effect in jarrah forest, are thought to
be introduced and spread by human induced disturbances.
Some species are so restricted in their distribution,
that they only ever exist in one or a few very small parts of the
forest. For example two species of frog were discovered recently,
but occur naturally over a very small range. It may be that even
small remnants are the only places where rare species, particularly
of plants or invertebrates, survive.
Jarrah Forest Remnants may continue to exist
Rehabilitation or restoration is the process of bringing
a degraded area back as nearly as possible to its former natural state.
It usually involves weed control, seed collection from remaining native
plant and their re-establishment.
Wildlife Corridors are for connecting areas of remnant
forest to provide wider ranges and more protection for native plants
and animals. They also help to arrest the inevitable decline of the
gene pool in isolated areas.
Re-colonisation means re-introducing wildlife species
back into their original habitat. For example, the Chuditch or Native
Cat is the largest native carnivorous predator in WA. Once widespread,
there are now fewer than 6,000 left in the wild, existing on about
5% of their former range. Each animal need a range of about 15 Km
and hollow logs or rocky crevices for sleeping. Some forest areas
could be re-colonised if wildlife corridors were established, foxes
controlled and clearfelling for timber abolished.
other plants and animals could benefit similarly and some could be
rescued from the possibility of extinction. There is much we could
do to reverse the current decline in our jarrah forest remnants.
and caption from Bernard Lown and Evjueni Chazov, in D. Suzuki and
A McConnell, The Sacred Balance.
live in an age of unprecedented uncertainty.
on earth is perilously poised
at the precipice of extinction.
before has man possessed the
destructive resources to commit global suicide.
'The Web of life' by Fritjof Capra