Reconnecting Budj Bim from the air

The Critically Endangered Swift Parrot. One of the threatened species that will benefit from the project. Image copyright cc JJ Harrison I Wikipedia

Greening Australia has commenced an ambitious project to restore a property within the Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape owned and managed by the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation through aerial seeding.

The 130ha “Peters” property near Tyrendarra was prioritised for restoration due to a major wildfire in 2006 which killed all remaining Manna Gums in that landscape. The damage was then compounded by grazing animals which destroyed the regenerating vegetation.

Greening Australia has developed an innovative method of restoring the harsh, volcanic terrain – the use of an aeroplane to disperse specially created native seed clay balls.

The balls are made using native seed combined with bentonite clay and compost, as well as materials such as fine powdered charcoal to simulate post fire conditions. The ingredients are then combined in a seed mixer which was kindly supplied to the project by Warrnambool Landmark. To date, at least 100,000 seed balls have been dropped on the Tyrendarra property.

“I am not aware of anyone else who has been employing aerial application of clay seed balls in Australia at this scale. It is a challenging project but one that is really important and rewarding to undertake,” says Dave Warne, Greening Australia Project Manager.

Clay seed balls drying in the sun

“The Manna Gum woodlands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains are a nationally endangered vegetation type. As well as being valuable in their own right the woodlands also provide critical habitat for a number of fauna species and are one of the few remaining vestiges for the Spotted-tailed Quoll.”

“We see the restoration of lost vegetation within the Budj Bim Landscape as being a priority action and look forward to working with Greening Australia on this project.” said Gundij Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation CEO Damein Bell

The work forms part of the larger ‘Reconnecting Budj Bim’ project funded through the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme (part of the National Landcare Programme) which will establish trees across 400 hectares of IPA’s including Peters, Kurtonitj and Lake Gorrie over the next two years.

The project will be characterised by extensive collaboration between Greening Australia staff and Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners, with the Budj Bim Winda Mara Rangers closely involved in on-ground work.

An official launch for the ‘Reconnecting Budj Bim’ project will occur in July.


For more information about this project, please feel free to send us an online enquiry.