From giants to ashes: the centuries old trees disappearing from Victoria’s parks

Parks Victoria

Victorians cherish the crackling comfort of a wood fire – both at home as the days grow colder and under the starry skies of a remote campsite. But how many stop to think about the origins of the firewood they burn?

Firewood can be a cost-effective fuel for households, helping communities stay warm and fed, but it is also vital habitat for many of our native animals.

Both young and old forests play important roles in nature. Their bark and foliage create safe havens for spiders and lizards, while hollows in mature trunks offer nesting sites for birds, possums, gliders and bats.

Standing dead or dying trees (often called stags) provide homes for countless species. When they fall, logs and branches decompose slowly on the forest floor, creating coarse woody debris often mistaken for leaf litter. The dead wood creates a moist microclimate for amphibians, fungi and insects. It also provides shelter for small mammals and reptiles, and becomes a hunting ground for woodland birds and carnivorous marsupials.

/Public Release. View in full here.