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Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers properties provide valuable bird habitat

Surveys reveal that remnant vegetation may be playing an important role in maintaining bird diversity at a landscape level.

Juvenile Golden Whistler
A juvenile Golden Whistler at the Binnowie plantation.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers Ltd (ASX:KPT) has been advised that remnant vegetation on plantation properties on Kangaroo Island is providing valuable habitat for birdlife.

The information has been provided following surveys conducted on the company’s plantations and coordinated by Birdlife Australia.

Overall, 38 different bird species were seen with the top five most commonly reported being Red Wattlebird, Crescent Honeyeater, Superb Fairy-wren, Brown Thornbill and Grey Currawong.

READ: Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers project “will be good for environment”

Average abundance was highest within the remnant habitat, with generally high numbers of birds observed in the plantation properties.

More than 85 surveys were completed by volunteer surveyors across 37 different properties or control sites.

It was the first time that bird surveys had been conducted in KIPT plantations.

The company owns about 25,000 hectares of land on Kangaroo Island, of which about 7000 hectares is remnant vegetation.

The Shannon Diversity Index.

A Shannon Diversity Index was calculated for each transect, and the average (mean) index value was calculated for each of the three transect types.

Remnant habitat patches recorded the highest Shannon Index, indicating that these remnant patches may be playing an important role in maintaining bird diversity at a landscape level.

Birdlife Australia’s Dr Holly Kirk presented her findings at the recent annual Australian Ornithological Conference in Darwin.

“The number of volunteer surveyors was encouraging and hopefully will be maintained next year,” she said.

KIPT director of Community Engagement Shauna Black thanked all the volunteers who gave up their time to do the surveys.

READ: Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber progresses wharf consultation response, makes key board change

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers is seeking to build a wharf at Smith Bay on the island’s north coast to support the export of products from timber plantations.

In the recent annual Regional Voice report by Business SA, island businesses called for government support for more infrastructure on Kangaroo Island – particularly roads and ports.

Deep-sea wharf facility ‘needed’

The survey, conducted in 2018, also reports that attracting skilled workers and training availability for staff on-island is a significant concern.

It said: “Respondents strongly reported that investment in economic infrastructure, such as roads and ports, should be the focus of additional government support, with 55% of respondents selecting this as a first preference.

“Respondents particularly noted the benefit a deep-sea wharf facility would have for the growth of Kangaroo Island’s bluegum timber industry.”

Quick facts: Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers Ltd

Price: 0.86 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $48.52 m

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