Creating new habitat on farmland

Trees planted in Stradbroke West to improve habitat on farmland adjoining the Holey Plains State Park in Gippsland, Victoria. Photo: Contributed

Following the devastating Black Summer Bushfires, Yarram Yarram Landcare Network was determined to take action to restore important habitat on private property adjoining the Holey Plains State Park.

Using over $19,800 provided by the WIRES Landcare Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants Program, landcarers and local landholders erected 1.5km of fencing and set about procuring a total of 3500 native tubestock to revegetate approximately five hectares of important wildlife corridors.

While the COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately impacted the attendance to community tree planting days, members of Merriman Creek Landcare Group were happy to report the project coincided with a very favourable year for tree planting in the Stradbroke West area.

This project created vital new habitat for the vulnerable Wellington Mint Bush and replaced areas of open forest of banksia and eucalypt vegetation destroyed during the bushfires which ravaged the Holey Plains State Park. The project site is also essential habitat for many threatened and rare species, such as the Lace Monitor, Long Nosed Bandicoot, Powerful Owl and White-bellied Sea Eagle.

“This project was absolutely essential for creating new habitat in an area ravaged by bushfires. The Holey Plains State Park will take many years to recover, however by establishing new safe havens for wildlife on private farmland we are expediting this process,” Yarram Yarram Landcare Network co-ordinator Scott Elliott said.

In addition to the regeneration work, Yarram Yarram Landcare Network have also installed five nest boxes, with baseline bird monitoring has also been established at the project site and two biodiversity surveys conducted before project completion.

A total of 15 people were involved in the project (including eight volunteers), who contributed a total of 300 volunteer hours.