Mass airborne reseeding to help Aussie forests regrow after bushfires

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-02 14:53:50|Editor: huaxia

SYDNEY, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Australian State of Victoria is undertaking a massive airborne reseeding program to boost the recovery of forests following last summer's historic bushfires.

Unveiling the initiative on Friday, authorities said that over 4.5 tonnes of eucalyptus seeds have already been dropped from helicopters for an area roughly the size of 5,650 football stadiums.

"This airlift operation has seen helicopters drop tonnes of eucalypt seeds across areas devastated by the latest fires. It is the largest forest restoration operation in Victoria's history," Victoria's Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said.

Thousands of the seeds are expected to one day grow into giants of the Australian bush, including the iconic Mountain Ash, the tallest flowering plant in the world, and the Alpine Ash, which can be up to 90 meters tall.

"These seeds, which are unfurling on our forest floors right now, will create giants of the bush that will outlive us all, and develop ecosystems to protect Victoria's unique animals and plant life," D'Ambrosio said.

Reports suggest that more than half the total area of Victoria's national parks and nature reserves were impacted by the fires, according to the state's Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The Victoria's department also said that since many of the regions had burnt multiple times within the previous two decades, the recovery of certain species of trees could be hampered, particularly the larger varieties.

The reseeding focuses on areas of nationally distinctive forests in Gippsland and North East Victoria that suffered the impact of fires in 2003, 2007 and 2014, and were severely burned again in the 2019/20 season.

"Through this project, the government is ensuring the survival of these forests for future generations and helping the ongoing effort to recover from last summer's fires," said Jaclyn Symes, Victoria's agriculture minister. Enditem