‘Pretty bleak’: Green on The Gap not an end to heartache
WHILE motorists are finding hope in the shoots of green already emerging from fire-ravaged Cunninghams Gap, one expert said the area would never be the same.
Emma Walton, ecologist and hike guide, said she's not celebrating the revegetation just yet.
"It's pretty bleak but there's no way to sugar-coat the situation," she said.
"I'd say I'm guilty often of rejoicing when I see a green shoot but the reality is we're in tough times. The habitat will take potentially 100 years to get back to how it once was."
Miss Walton said the Gap shouldn't have burnt in the first place.
"Burning rainforest is something we've not really experienced to this scale and shouldn't really happen," she said.
"In some textbooks, you'll find that it says rainforest can't actually burn, so fires in Amazon, Tasmania, this area is smaller in comparison, but now they're burning and they shouldn't really be."
Miss Walton said the fire had been possible due to our changing climate.
"It's absolutely climate change, we really need to look at it and support organisations like Bush Heritage and Australian Wildlife conservancy," she said.
"They are working toward umbrella solutions rather than bandaid solutions."
But the good news is, trees are on track to provide a habitat to local wildlife once again.
"If you're getting growth, you'll get insects which will help our honey eaters and gliders," she said.
"Koalas however, eat a lot and are fussier about their eucalypt so there will some time before they're back."
"It is great greenery is coming back but it needs to be the right greenery and needs to keep happening."