I've mentioned deforestation along the Barwon and its tributaries in previous posts - especially as its effects relate to water catchment and the ability to withstand bushfire in the Otways. Another problem with the loss of native vegetation is the loss of habitat and food sources for wildlife. If eucalypts are cleared instead of being allowed to age naturally and die, those birds and other animals such as Red-rumped Parrots which nest in tree hollows will struggle to find suitable sites in which to build.
|Dead tree with hollow branches used by nesting Red-rumped Parrots at Fyansford|
|Native re-vegetation at Barwon Valley|
Birds like the various honeyeaters which rely on the nectar from native plants may be adversely affected by a lack of flowering native trees and shrubs - for instance the White-plumed Honeyeater has a close association with River Red Gums. On the other hand, many of these birds (along with the various introduced species) may also benefit from the presence of exotic flowering plants and fruit trees.
|Introduced prunus in bloom near Breakwater|
|Apple tree growing wild on the banks of the West Barwon|
River below the West Barwon Dam
|Cyprus tree on the riverbank at Barwon Valley|
|Willow tree below Barwon Grange, Newtown|
|Willow and other exotic plantings below the breakwater|