Survey Site 2

Wildlife corridor created using indigenous plants.

History:

This property in Red Hill South was heavily infested with a variety of Habitat-changing weeds. Some 15 acres of forest and creekline that should have been covered with eucalypts, ferns, orchids etc was being smothered by widespread weeds such as Pine Tree, Sweet Pittosporum and Blackberry to name a few. With the loss of native vegetation, habitat disappeared, and as a direct and indirect consequence, wildlife could no longer survive there.

The undergrowth in this forest consists entirely of the woody weed Sweet Pittosporum.

The indigenous undergrowth in this area has been completely wiped out by Pine Trees.

Action:

EVC 29: Damp Forest. Victorian Status: Endangered
EVC 83: Swampy Riparian Woodland. Victorian Status: Endangered
EVC 23: Herb-rich Foothill Forest. Victorian Status: Vulnerable

In 2004, the site was surveyed to determine the extent of weed invasion, remnant indigenous vegetation and wildlife populations. These surveys would be conducted twice yearly from then on. In 2004, landowners and sub-contractors used various environmentally sensitive techniques to eradiate the majority of weeds, thus allowing the natural bushland to begin regenerating itself. In 2005, landowners and sub-contractors followed up the previous year’s weed control, with the objective of eradicating weeds that had grown from seed already in the soil. Each year, this task was repeated and over time, weeds have been albeit eliminated.

Once woody weeds were removed, ferns were able to flourish again.

A wide variety of indigenous plants were used to revegetate the area where hundreds of Pine Trees once stood.

Future Aims:

With the hard work done, the landowners can relax and enjoy the slowly increasing number and diversity of wildlife inhabiting their block. An occasional walk in the bush to pull out the odd weed seedling is all that’s required to keep the entire 15 acres in great condition.
                           

Status:

Ongoing surveys have shown that the number of floral species found on the property has almost doubled, while fauna species have almost tripled since works began. Not only that, but wildlife is seen more often in larger numbers. Of particular note, is the appearance of Powerful Owls; a species that is listed as vulnerable to extinction in Victoria. Flora and Fauna surveys were conducted both before and after weed eradication works, the results of which are shown below.

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:

Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)
Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)
Tall Greenhood (Pterostylis longifolia)

Statistics

Location:

Red Hill Sth., Victoria

Project Began:

2004

Acreage:

15

Issues:

Bushland and creekline heavily infested with a number of Habitat changing weeds, as well as many other environmental weeds.

Tasks:

Eliminate all Habitat changing weeds, and either reduce or eliminate, all other environmental weeds.

Species Prior Works:

Flora 75 Fauna 23

Species After Works:

Flora 116 Fauna 65