This study has investigated the status of tree-hollow-forming termites in eucalypt forest in the Upper Blue Mountains, New South Wales, following seven years of extreme weather and mega-fires. Tree hollows are a critical denning and breeding resource for many fauna species. The general abundance of termites in this cool temperate area was low, with at least 65% of large eucalypts having no internal hollows and thus never having supported termites. There was evidence of a recent decline of at least 55% in the number of trees being actively worked by termites, based on the number of trees with no termites present but evidence of termite activity within the last five years. Despite this decline, hollow-forming termites were still present in at least 61% of the survey sites. Recovery could be expected to occur given adequate time and stable conditions. However, the increasing pace of climate change may not allow it. In this paper, we draw attention to the importance of hollow-forming termites and the existential threat that they face under on-going climate change. We hope that it will prompt more interest and research of this issue.

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