Survey Site 5

A robust and diverse understorey has been restored along the creekline.

History:

The grazing of livestock damaged the natural bushland, and provided an opportunity for various woody weeds to invade. Pine Trees spread from a nearby plantation, while birds carried in the seeds of weeds such as Sweet Pittosporum. Once these Habitat-changing weeds became established, the natural vegetation could not grow back.

The understorey had almost been completely wiped out by woody weeds.

Action:

EVC 16: Lowland Forest. Victorian Status: Vulnerable
EVC 83: Swampy Riparian Woodland. Victorian Status: Endangered
EVC 23: Herb-rich Foothill Forest. Victorian Status: Vulnerable

The landowners excluded all livestock from the bushland area with new fencing, so the main task was weed control. Contractors and the landowner began eradicating the weedy tree species such as Pine, Sweet Pittosporum and Sallow Wattle.

The habitat-changing woody weeds were targeted first using environmentally sensitive chemical application.

Coral Fern has been able to recolonise the creekline after weed eradication.

Future Aims:

Weed control is set to continue until all large weed species are eradicated. No other action is required to bring this bushland back to pristine condition.

Status:

The diversity of wildlife inhabiting the property has more than tripled since works began, the most noteworthy being the Australasian Bittern. The real success has been in the improvement in vegetation quality, as the site has responded exceedingly well to weed control.

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)

Statistics

Location:

Merricks, Victoria

Project Began:

2005

Acreage:

9

Issues:

Infestation of woody weeds throughout bushland area.

Tasks:

Widespread weed control.

Species Prior Works:

Flora 94 Fauna 24

Species After Works:

Flora 112 Fauna 71