Survey Site 10

A variety of indigenous plants, hollow logs and rocks have been used to replicate a natural creekline.

History:

At some point, this property was completely cleared for agricultural purposes. Around 15 years ago, in an admirable but misguided attempt to attract Koalas back to the property, the farm manager commissioned the installation of hundreds of native and exotic trees. At the time such practices were widespread, but now it is understood that Koalas, and indeed all indigenous animals, need specific floral species in order to survive. Therefore, this plan failed. In recent times, a poorly constructed dam was built across the bottom of a gully for irrigation purposes. Topsoil was lost and water quality suffered.

Paddocks as they existed prior to rehabilitation. The weeds have been treated with herbicide prior to works.

Action:

EVC 175: Grassy Woodland. Victorian Status: Endangered
EVC 653: Aquatic Herbland. Victorian Status: Endangered
EVC 16: Lowland Forest. Victorian Status: Vulnerable

The dam was modified to be more attractive to wildlife via the construction of an island, some reshaping of the banks, and the installation of large hollow logs. The dam was then revegetated with aquatic plants. The pasture surrounding the dam was treated with herbicide, then mulched and revegetated using indigenous plants.

The existing dam was modified to support a variety of flora and fauna.

Following the success of this initial work in attracting wildlife, the landowner decided to convert the entire gully from a soggy paddock, into a fully revegetated wildlife corridor. To do this, sensitive earthworks were required to reinstate the creekline, followed by the installation of mulch and indigenous plants.

After extensive rehabilitation works, the creek has been reinstated with rocks, logs and plants. The rabbit-proof fence can be seen in the background.

After only a couple of years, the first Koala visited the property. This sighting encouraged the landowner to again extend the revegetation area to include a large stand of remnant Eucalypts in an adjacent paddock. Mulch was installed beneath the Eucalypts, followed by a variety of indigenous understorey plants.

Revegetation has begun under existing indigenous Eucalypts. The entire area has been surrounded by a rabbit-proof fence.

At all stages, the revegetation zones were surrounded in a rabbit-proof fence that remained in place for almost 4 years.

Future Aims:

The project is mostly surrounded by pasture grass, so grassy weed control will be required for several more years. A row of Cypress Pines are limiting the growth rates on one boundary, and are being considered for removal. No other works are planned at this stage.

Status:

Since the project began, a Koala (presumably the same one) has been sighted each year in the Eucalypt zone. Also, the migratory Latham’s Snipe has been spotted several times during its stay in Australia.

This graph shows that the diversity of wildlife species making use of the bushland increased following weed control works.

This graph shows how the indigenous species were able to regenerate once the competition from weeds was removed.

Sightings:

Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii)

Statistics

Location:

Tuerong, Victoria

Project Began:

2005

Acreage:

6

Issues:

Large areas cleared for grazing. Remnant vegetation invaded by weeds. Natural waterbodies destroyed by hooved livestock. Large rabbit population.

Tasks:

Reinstatement of natural waterbodies. Weed control. Revegetation. Removal of stock.

Species Prior Works:

Flora 19 Fauna 18

Species After Works:

Flora 118 Fauna 68