Earlier this year, we began work on an exciting project in Western Australia to improve habitat for the iconic Malleefowl in the Yarra Yarra Catchment of the Northern Agricultural Region. Improving Remnant Vegetation to Enhance Malleefowl Neighbourhoods is a partnership project between Greening Australia, the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council and Yarra Yarra landholders.
Through funding from the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme, the community and project partners will revegetate over 300 hectares of cleared farmland through direct seeding and planting of native trees. In addition to providing vital habitat for Malleefowl, the onground work will benefit a range of other threatened plant and animal species in the area, such as the Western Spiny-tailed Skink and the Fitzgerald’s Mulla Mulla.
This project will complement the work of Yarra Yarra farmers who have proudly been working to address land management issues in the catchment since 1997 by strategically restoring cleared farmland. The catchment, which covers over 1.8 million hectares, contains an impressive diversity of plants but due to extensive clearing for agriculture, has less than 10% of its native vegetation remaining.
During initial project development, ten farmers have identified parcels of land on their properties for revegetation. These areas will be revegetated using Greening Australia’s direct seeding technologies; a process refined over many years.
Direct seeding forms the back bone of Greening Australia’s vast revegetation program that has been undertaken over recent years across the south-west of WA. This program includes the Living Mortlock project in the central Wheatbelt (target 1,550ha) and four other 20 Million Trees’ projects:
Dave Collins, our direct seeding practitioner, will work closely with NACC staff and participating farmers to ensure that all sites are properly prepared and ready for planting. In addition, species which are difficult to grow will be propagated in a local nursery (from seed, or cuttings where seed is not available) and hand planted. A call will be put out to the local community in 2017 for people interested in being involved in this important work.
Regular monitoring and evaluation will be undertaken to track the success of revegetation efforts. We hope to work closely with experts from North Central Malleefowl Preservation Group to enable monitoring to continue beyond the life of the project.
With project work already well underway and above average seasonal rainfall, we have no doubt that this year’s work will continue to result in many positive outcomes for both Malleefowl and the local community.
We are seeking farmers in the Yarra Yarra, particularly those who have revegetation sites containing suitable Malleefowl habitat, to contact us if they would like to be involved in this exciting project (i.e. diverse mallee and/or tall Acacia shrublands on sand and/or gravel). For more information please contact Tracy at [email protected]
Greening Australia is keen for farmers in the Yarra Yarra, particularly those who have revegetation sites containing suitable Malleefowl habitat, to contact us if they would like to be involved (i.e. diverse mallee and/or tall Acacia shrublands on sand and/or gravel).
Supported by the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme (part of the National Landcare Programme) and Greening Australia.
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