September 2015 Riverspace update

September 2015 Riverspace update

The health of red gum forests in southern NSW is improving with recent monitoring showing a growing population of yellow-footed antechinus at home on the floodplains. Monitoring conducted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has led to the discovery of more than 20 individuals at sites within the Murray red gum forests – a sign that the forest and floodplains are healthy and maintaining a dynamic food web following environmental watering managed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH).

NPWS Senior Rehabilitation Officer Rick Webster said the presence of these small marsupials was a good indicator of ecosystem health."Antechinus are an important part of the food web" he said. "They feed on insects and spiders and become food themselves for larger predators such as owls and goannas. In this case, environmental watering mid-way through last year has triggered a sharp rise in the number of insects and spiders within the forest. The antechinus feed on these bugs and begin to breed. As the antechinus population rises, larger predators move into the area."

Read more at http://www.riverspace.com.au/item/antechinus-respond-to-environmental-water-in-murray-valley