Climate change is regarded as the greatest threat to Ginini Flats with increased summer temperatures and altered rainfall patterns. Spaghnum cristatum bogs and other plants dependent upon wet environments may contract in range due to hotter summer conditions. Heavy rainfall events may erode bare areas and increase turbidity. The 2015 ACT State of the Environment Report identified the following threats to alpine and sub- alpine systems within the ACT. Alpine and subalpine ecosystems: increased threat to cold climate–adapted and narrow temperature–range species such as those in feldmarks, short alpine herbfields, and sphagnum bogs and fens; Southern Corroboree Frog and Mountain Pygmy Possum increased fire risk to groundcover and fire-sensitive species such as those in sphagnum bogs and alpine herbfields; Alpine Ash and Mountain Plum Pine invasion of more temperature and fire-tolerant species, including certain tree, heathland, shrubland and weed species (eg Ribbon Gum, Grevillea, Wild Parsnip). Subalpine grassy woodlands: reduction in snow, groundcover and grasses, which will threaten some fauna (eg Broad- Toothed Rat, Alpine Skink, frogs, echidnas) more invasive species (eg rabbits, hares, cats) and increased grazing pressure (eg kangaroos, wallabies, horses, hares) changed seed germination, regeneration and recruitment periods (eg less cool time available for Alpine Ash and Snow Gum) earlier flowering of annuals and shrubs, which will disturb synchronicity for migratory birds (eg Flame Robin, Pink Robin) spring breeding season shortened (eg for Richard’s Pipit, some honeyeaters) increased loss of microhabitats (eg tree hollows for Yellow-Bellied Gliders, leaf litter for ground-dwelling fauna)
increased frost heave, which may decrease organic decomposition and soil nutrients effects on nutrient cycling by invertebrates and soil fauna. 2. Fire One of the key threats to the Ginini Flats wetland is the risk of bushfire. With hotter temperatures and changes to rainfall fire may become more frequent and intense. In 2003 bushfires caused severe damage to the site – with a large proportion of the bog burned as well as underlying peat layers. The main fire risk to the wetlands comes from lightning strikes from the west from Kosciusko National Park, Bimberi Nature Reserve, and from the north-west via Brindabella Valley, New South Wales. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service prepares annual Bushfire Operations Plans (BOP) to help manage bushfire risk. These plans are required as part of the ACT strategic bushfire management plan 2014 (version3). BOPs can be found at . As part of the 15-16 BOP the Mt Franklin Rd within Namadgi National Park was upgraded to provide fire fighting vehicles better access to the site.
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- Fall '16
- Jeff Miller