Survey Site 4

Indigenous vegetation fully restored along the creekline.

History:

The property has been used for livestock grazing in the past, and caused severe damage to the middle storey and understory vegetation in particular. This allowed environmental weeds to move in and prevented the bushland from regenerating once grazing ceased. Garden plants from the house block were also able to spread into the bushland and creekline. The weeds were left to spread unchecked for many years, until a naturalist saw an interesting species of frog inhabiting the creek. It is not known what species was seen, but it prompted the owners to set the area aside for conservation. Although this was a step in the right direction, no active management was carried out and the weeds continued to spread. It was many more years before the property changed hands and the new owner decided to restore the sanctuary to its former glory.

Habitat-changing weeds have wiped out the indigenous vegetation.

Past land uses have albeit completely wiped out indigenous vegetation.

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

The site was severely infested with woody weeds that had almost completely eliminated the indigenous plants in most areas. Over several years, thousands of woody weeds were poisoned. Once these weeds were under control, grassy and herbaceous weeds were targeted until such time that the regenerating bushland could compete on its own.                            

Masses of blackberry were sprayed using environmentally sensitive techniques.

Once the blackberries were sprayed, the indigenous plants quickly regenerated.

A variety of ferns have returned along the creeklines.

Future Aims:

Woody weed seedlings continue to germinate from the huge soil seed bank that was created by mature weeds in the past. Some weeds present on this site are particularly hard to eradicate, and will require several more years of herbicide application before they are eradicated. In most areas, including the creekline, the bushland has almost completely regenerated and only requires the occasional patrol to ensure that weeds cannot once again take over.                            

Status:

Although the mystery frog has not yet been found in recent surveys, the block is now home to three times more wildlife species than it was prior to weed control. The remaining old-growth Eucalypts serve as perches and possible nesting sites for the Powerful Owl and Swift Parrots.                            

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:

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor)
Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua)

Statistics

Location:

Red Hill Sth., Victoria

Project Began:

2005

Acreage:

11

Issues:

Remnant vegetation heavily invaded by weeds. Damage to vegetation and soil structure from livestock. Garden plants are spreading into bushland.

Tasks:

Environmental weed control.

Species Prior Works:

Flora 78 Fauna 23

Species After Works:

Flora 96 Fauna 73