Fragmentation of the remnant vegetation also makes it

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Fragmentation of the remnant vegetation also makes it more susceptible to further degradation, by creating conditions that encourage damage, such as invasion by weeds and disease. Whilst grazing of stock can be used successfully as a management tool, for example to reduce pasture competition in planted shelterbelts, unchecked grazing can degrade native habitat. Stock browsing can damage delicate understorey plants and the seedlings of regenerating trees, shrubs and sedges. Many of the forest remnants on private land have suffered from stock browsing in the past, and as a result exotic species dominate their ground layer (Barnes et al . 2002). Similarly riparian vegetation and wetlands which provide habitat for species such as frogs can be damaged by stock trampling and grazing. Drainage of swamps, inundation of land for in-stream dams and other changes to hydrology have impacted upon a range of native flora and fauna on King Island (Barnes et al. 2002). Downstream impacts of dams may include alteration to sediment and flow regimes. Such alterations may impact species through the removal of regeneration triggers associated with disturbance caused by flood flows, the removal of regeneration microsites associated with sediment scouring and deposition, and disruption to episodic dispersal of propagules. Many other activities also degrade the native habitat of the Island, such as weed invasion and wildfire, but for simplicity where a threat is discussed later, it is not considered within habitat degradation. Both individuals and community groups have undertaken activities such as fencing and weed control to improve connectivity and protect remnant vegetation from further degradation. Despite these efforts, habitat degradation and fragmentation remains a large threat to King Island’s biodiversity. Species at particular risk include: Green and Gold Frog, Striped Marsh Frog, King Island Brown Thornbill, King Island Scrubtit, Orange-bellied Parrot, White- bellied Sea Eagle, Australasian Bittern, scrambling groundfern, lime fern and leafy greenhood. Fire Fires have had dramatic and adverse effects on King Island’s forest communities since the 1800s (PWS 2004). In 1880 a single fire left a moonscape of large stumps and blackened vegetation from Mount Stanley to the Fraser River (Barnes et al . 2002). Explorers used fire to clear paths through dense scrub, and settlers soon realised the potential of fire as a tool for clearing vast tracts of land for agriculture (Brown 1887). Frequent and intense fires over the Island’s European history have eliminated most rainforest and wet forest associated flora and fauna from areas of the Island (Barnes et a l. 2002). In recent times, fires in 2001 and 2007 have burnt extensive tracts of the Island’s remaining native vegetation, in particular within Lavinia State Reserve.
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  • Fall '14
  • The Hours, ........., Threatened species, Bass Strait, Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, King Island

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