Surveys targeting 24 threatened fauna species were conducted in riparian (37 study sites) and mallee (3 study sites) vegetation communities in State Forests and other Crown timber lands in south-western New South Wales. The surveys were successful in locating eleven of the targeted threatened species and two non-target species. Five threatened species (four birds and one mammal) were recorded within the mallee study sites and seven from the riparian study sites (one amphibian, one reptile, three birds and two mammals). The surveys extended the known distribution of the Brush-tailed Phascogale Phascogale tapoatafa and Squirrel Glider Petaurus norfolcensis in New South Wales.
A survey of large forest owls was conducted at 261 survey points within State forests of south-western New South Wales, and an additional 10 sites within the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area in May-June 2004. A combination of listening, playback of recorded calls and spotlighting was used. Barking Owls Ninox connivens were recorded primarily from River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis vegetation associations (n = 8) and once from mixed Western Grey Box Eucalyptus microcarpa / River Red Gum association. No records of the Powerful Owl N. strenua or the Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae were obtained. Four other nocturnal bird species were recorded during the surveys: Southern Boobook N. novaeseelandiae (n = 74), Barn Owl T. alba (n = 61), Australian Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus (n = 46) and Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides (n = 8). In light of the low frequency of Barking Owls recorded in this and other recent surveys, consideration needs to be given to upgrading the classification of the Barking Owl under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act to “Endangered” subject to the undertaking of more comprehensive whole-of-landscape survey, including private lands and conservation reserves.