Barung Landcare Association 

With over 75% of rainforest and vine forests in the Sunshine Coast region found on private land, landholders play a vital role in the recovery and survival of many species in this region.

Barung Landcare was successful in securing a grant to deliver a rainforest resilience and threatened species project as part of The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.

This funding is enabling them to work with the local community, key stakeholders and key scientists to increase awareness and participation in restoring and building resilience in rainforest communities across the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

The project is also focused on extending and improving habitat of the Southern Pink Underwing Moth (Phyllodes imperialis smithersi) which is an endangered species restricted to subtropical rainforest in Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland. This species is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, invasive species and fire. As part of this project Barung Landcare will be collaborating with the scientific team at Natura Pacific to roll out a citizen science project to help improve the likelihood of its survival.

“Rainforest vegetation communities on the Sunshine Coast remain highly fragmented due to land clearing and land use changes since European settlement” explains Project Coordinator Megan Lee.
“This leaves remnant patches of rainforest quite vulnerable to the impacts of weeds, and prolonged periods of drought and heat can significantly dry out understories and increase the risk of fire and degradation of understorey environments.
“On the Sunshine Coast, it is expected that annual average temperatures will rise and our region will experience more days each year over 35°C, and more extreme heat waves and other extreme weather events too. “This presents a challenging environment for the endangered Southern Pink Underwing Moth which is at risk of extinction due to its fragmented distribution, so it’s really important we work with landholders across the region to improve the quality, connectivity and resilience of our local rainforests.”

Barung Landcare’s community native nursery will also be expanded to increase rainforest plant production which will supply plants to landholders taking part in the project. A range of planned education activities aims to support the broader community to connect with practical knowledge and actions that help prepare for the impacts of a changing climate such as local seed collection days, plant ID and propagation workshops, environmental education film nights with key researchers, field days with local rainforest experts, and tree planting events with local landholders.