This work has now taken an unexpected turn, due to the extremely intense and destructive fires on the western half of the Island.
It is likely that most of the 440 nesting stalks that we have set out, have been lost. We tried to spread risk by placing the stalks at twelve locations in and around the Flinders Chase NP. However, the extent of the fire means that our precautionary measures weren’t enough. In November, there were 140 occupied nesting stalks, which at this stage would have contained mature brood. These are probably all burnt. If any adults survived, they haven’t got another year of reproduction in them – they only live for a year. This is tragic, but in the scope of things only a small part of the ecological disaster that is playing out countrywide.
The Green Carpenter Bee may now be critically endangered, as a large part of its remaining habitat in NSW has burnt as well. As the fires are still going, it will be a while before we are able assess the damage, but we will certainly do this as soon as possible. And we will keep on trying to protect this species in these areas, and encourage recovery.
On Kangaroo Island, there may still be a few nests left on the eastern part of the island. The funds contributed by you will allow us to make many nesting stalks. Coming winter, we will ask Islanders to host new nesting stalks, and to help us by monitoring their uptake. We hope that this will increase the likelihood of recovery, and that nature will help by providing a large number of grass tree flowering stalks, which should become available to the bees for nesting between three and seven years from now.
Once we have assessed the damage, we will report back to you.
Thank you for your help in protecting this iconic species.
Download the PDF to learn more about the Green Carpenter Bee Conservation Project.