The Bushcare Group acknowledges the disastrous bushfires that have occurred in the Blue Mountains and Australia since spring 2019, and their devastating human, community and ecological impacts. The Erskine Creek catchment, into which Lawson Creek flows, is part of Blue Mountains National Park and the World Heritage Area, and has been badly affected. This is an excerpt from a Blue Conservation Society members’ e-brief:
78% of the GBMWHA Burned
As of Monday 13 January, 78% of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA) has been burnt, and an estimated 140 million native animals have been impacted.
This has been calculated by Peter Smith using the MapInfo program and Fires Near Me to obtain mapping of burnt areas.
These are preliminary estimates and will be updated when the final fire maps are available from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment after the fire season.
The burnt area of each of the eight reserves of the GBMWHA has been calculated.
Peter has also calculated the number of animals impacted by multiplying likely densities of animals* in unburnt habitat by the number of hectares burnt.
The densities are very rough estimates, but are the best available for NSW.
In any case, it is clear that huge numbers of animals have been impacted and most of them have died as a result of the drought, the fires and the shortage of food, water and shelter after the fires.
The unprecedented scale of the fires, leaving few unburnt refuges from which to recolonise, makes the recovery of the fauna highly problematic.
Source: Blue Mountains Conservation Society 15/01/2020.