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Fauna Diversity
 
For the mammals, birds, reptiles and insects of the jarrah forest to move back into newly rehabilitated forest after mining, all of the elements that make the forest suitable habitat for these species to live and breed in need to be present.
 
Years of research and monitoring the fauna of the jarrah forest and rehabilitated sites has given Alcoa scientists a better understanding of these local species, and what they need to survive. We have had to address issues such as introduced predators, the effects of nearby mining operations and standard forest management operations, and providing enough suitable habitats in our rehabilitation.
 
Overall the results of our monitoring program are very encouraging.  We have found that on average 100% of mammal species, 90% of bird species and 89% of reptile species have recolonised the rehabilitated areas by the time they are 10 years old. A few reptile species that require well developed ecosystems are yet to return to the younger rehabilitation due to the limited availability of cracks in logs and deep leaf litter.  Birds with specific nest-hollow requirements such as the black cockatoos will also take more time.
 
There are about 20 mammal, 50 bird, 20 reptile, 5 frog and 70 ant species recorded in rehabilitated and forest sites.  The Echidna, Southern Brown Bandicoot (quenda), Common Brushtail Possum, Yellow-footed Antechinus (mardo), Chuditch, Western Pygmy Possum and the Brushtailed Phascogale have all returned to rehabilitated areas.  Kangaroos and emus return immediately.  Alcoa uses ants as an indicator of the return of the invertebrates to rehabilitated areas as they are widely recognised as important ecological indicators.  We have found that the groups of invertebrates found in habitat logs in rehabilitated sites are similar to those found in logs in the un-mined forest. Termite species diversity in rehabilitated sites is similar to the unmined forest within 15 years of rehabilitation completion.
 


Mardo on tree

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The Yellow-footed Antechinus or mardo is one of the many unique fauna species in Western Australia's jarrah forest.

Possum in tree

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The Common Brushtail Possum is a common resident of our rehabilitated areas.