A fowl future
The North Central CMA team was delighted with recent news from a conservation property owner near Wedderburn, where the Kooyoora Connections Project had assisted with direct seeding in 2016.
Revegetation, and direct seeding in particular, can be highly susceptible to adverse weather conditions, herbivore grazing and many other factors; unfortunately, there is an element of risk and vegetation does not always thrive as hoped. This site however, has proven very successful and the seedlings are flourishing.
Property owner Doug is a nature lover and bird enthusiast, who is lucky enough to have Malleefowl residing on his Trust for Nature covenanted property. He had spent a lot of time hand planting canopy species across the previously grazed paddocks, and the Kooyoora Connections Project was able to assist with direct seeding 32 hectares of understorey species.
While the provision of more food and foraging habitat for the endangered Malleefowl was a focus, habitat connectivity and supporting existing threatened species on the property (vegetation and the threatened Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Community) was also a primary motivation.
Doug got in touch to let us know how successful the direct seeding has been; he is ‘over the moon’ with the results and hopes the Malleefowl will start using the site within a year or two.
“I’ve got an active Malleefowl nest on my property and I think it is one of the very few that is surviving in the area now. If I can have a good buffer from the surrounding cleared land and give the species a bit more of a chance, the revegetation should be excellent feeding areas for Malleefowl.”
As you can see from the photos, in less than 2 years, the site is completely transformed. Some of the variety of species are over a meter tall already, and will soon begin to produce seeds for Malleefowl and other species to feed on.
“The whole project I think is a super thing; the Kooyoora Connections and the Wedderburn ‘doughnut’ area and all that, if it works, it will be absolutely wonderful, but we have to do a lot of these things if we are going to preserve the country that’s for sure – it is only a drop in the ocean,” Doug said.
Kooyoora Connections is a five-year (2013-18) project delivered by the North Central Catchment Management Authority (CMA) in partnership with Trust for Nature, the Wedderburn Conservation Management Network (CMN), Parks Victoria and Bush Heritage to build landscape resilience and connectivity between Kooyoora State Park, Wychitella and Mt Korong Nature Conservation Reserves.
The Kooyoora Connections project is supported by the North Central Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
PHOTOS: Kirsten Hutchison, Trust for Nature