National NRM update for April 2021. This update represents just a handful among the hundreds of NRM projects going on across Australia, which are made possible through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and from respective State governments.

Queensland’s Burnett Mary Regional Group (BMRG) has recently released a series of video project updates. A four part series on restoration activities in the Mary River visits different properties to find out more about work that is being done to reduce erosion and sediment entering waterways. A five-part Gully Erosion series – in conjunction with the Fitzroy Basin Association – is also available, which is all about assessing catchment size for erosion control. It covers important information about the repair of a gully erosion site. Take a look at the channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCG7xwHdM9VEQ2vJm2YAsBZw/videos

Ballogup.
Image: South Coast NRM

WA’s South Coast NRM have put together an update on the work they are doing across important wetlands in their region. Now halfway through a five-year program supporting rehabilitation works within the Lake Warden and Lake Gore catchment, 15 km of fencing around wetlands and remnant vegetation, 50ha of weed control and 10 fox control events have been completed. This is helping to protect existing habitat, while the 55 ha of revegetation and 378 ha of woody and herbaceous ground cover undertaken will improve biodiversity.

At Lake Pleasant View|Ballogup near Albany, South Coast NRM are monitoring the effects of cat trapping and fox baiting activites (set up by project partners) – particularly on threatened populations of Australasian Bitterns and western ringtail possums. Ballogup has been a traditional meeting place for the Menang people for millennia and the Albany Heritage Reference Group Aboriginal Corporation – who own and manage a 7ha property adjoining the lake – are important partners in cultural surveys and rehabilitation works including weed control, revegetation, and fencing. For a full update on project activities, visit https://southcoastnrm.com.au/2021/03/was-south-coast-wetlands-connecting-people-to-place

Victoria’s Dandenong Creek corridor provides a vital haven and biolink for native flora and fauna in an urban landscape. Through $1M in funding from the Victorian Government’s Our Catchments, Our Communities initiative, the Port Phillip and Westernport CMA (PPWCMA) and many other government organisations have banded together to transform the Dandenong Creek corridor into a world-class urban ‘Living Link’ over the last four years.

Together they have planted 63 ha of native plants across 38 sites, undertaken over 89 ha of weed control and engaged more than 6,800 people in community events and activities. This project has now wrapped up, and it leaves behind a lasting legacy of improved environmental condition along the Dandenong Creek corridor, as well as substantially increased community appreciation and engagement in its stewardship. Take a look at the summary video from the project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWJCRHlTwWc

A new project aiming to employ and train local people to gather native seeds for vital habitat restoration has been successfully rolled out in the South West of WA. South West Catchments Council, in collaboration with Leschenault Catchment Council, has employed and trained ten seed-collectors through the State Government’s Green Jobs initiative, which forms part of the COVID-19 State Recovery Plan. The project seeks to improve habitat for WA’s unique flora and fauna by teaching important skills in seed collection, sorting and storing. The seeds collected will ensure a supply of seedlings for revegetation of 275 hectares of land in the region.

Ongoing planting is vital for re-establishing wildlife corridors and providing areas of habitat for threatened species such as the South West’s black cockatoos. The team have already successfully extracted quality seeds from a diverse range of native species in bushland across the South West. https://swccnrm.org.au/green-jobs-a-winner-for-local-wildlife/

Image: WWF-Australia / Wild Vista

SA’s Northern and Yorke Landscape Board’s plans to reintroduce Brush-tailed Bettongs to Yorke Peninsula this year are on track following positive news about healthy Brush-tailed Bettong numbers in the north-eastern region of Western Australia. This paves the way for the critically endangered species to be reintroduced to mainland South Australia after an absence of more than 100 years. The Marna Banggara project will translocate around 100 Brush-tailed Bettongs from WA to a safe haven on the peninsula’s southern tip over three years. The first translocation will take place in winter 2021, led by the Northern and Yorke Landscape Board.

Construction of a 25-kilometre fence across the foot of the peninsula to protect species from feral predators is nearing completion. It creates a 150,000 ha safe haven that includes Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, remnant vegetation, farmland and small townships. Marna Banggara is a unique form of rewilding because the project area is part of a working landscape, with returned wildlife co-existing alongside a thriving tourism destination, engaged community and agricultural industry. Read the full story here.

NSW’s Central West LLS have been working with a ecologist on the development of a videos about the important role that fungi play in soil health and plant growth. As well as covering many of the basics about the biology of fungi and how to identify them, there is a focus on the important role that fungi play in farming landscapes – particularly in building resilience in agro-ecosystems so that they have a buffer and capacity to adapt to change. From maintaining and recreating healthy soils, to protecting crops and supporting livestock health, fungi have a crucial role to play in agriculture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8HncuuYpRc

A significant grant has been awarded to Territory Natural Resource Management (TNRM) as part of the Australian Government’s Natural Resource Management Drought Resilience Program. In partnership with Cibo Labs, EcoRich Grazing, the NT Cattlemen’s Association and the NT Government, TNRM will deliver a program of high tech feed budgeting to Territory cattle producers. High resolution pasture biomass data from satellites is now a commercial reality and cattle producers are keen to test the new technology. Over the next 12 months, participants in the project will receive training and one-on-one coaching. For more information, visit: https://www.territorynrm.org.au/single-post/media-release-cattle-feed-estimates-go-high-tech

A coordinated aerial burn on 17 properties covering 1.4 million hectares on Cape York by Cape York NRM has helped in reducing fuel loads and connecting fire breaks. Late season fires threaten livestock and property and scorch ground cover leaving soils vulnerable to erosion. Good fire land management practices protect and improve the condition of our natural resources, soils, water and biodiversity.
As well as reducing the likelihood of late season wildfires, these coordinated early season burns improve pasture quality and enable stock more widespread access to good grazing. Funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, Reef Trust and the Indigenous Land and Sea Grant Program enabled Cape York NRM to carry out an aerial burn in 2020.

South Australia’s APY Pastoral team has begun construction of their third Landscape and Livestock Management Centre (LLMC) in APY Pastoral Lands. These permanent and purpose-built stockyards allow cattle grazing around water access points to be better managed, with a key objective being the ability for early intervention to prevent land degradation. APY Pastoral is committed to developing a sustainable Pastoral Grazing Business and an effective land management system that can be rolled out across all available grazing areas of APY Lands. This will bolster Aboriginal communities across the lands both socially and economically.

The Alinytjara Wilurara Landscape Board supports APY Pastoral to create jobs and provide training to Anangu through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. Read more about Pastoral Development in APY Lands here.

 

In NSW, the Western Tracks collaring project is working to improve the management of wild dogs and feral pigs in flood and associated country of the Paroo, Cuttaburra, Warrego and Darling River systems in the Western Local Land Services region. This collaborative research project will be trapping and collaring wild dogs and feral pigs and monitoring their movements for up to a year after release while routine control activities are carried out within the region. By the end of March, the first wild dogs had been trapped and fitted with a GPS tracking collar, and then released at the point of capture. The collared wild dogs are providing the project team with valuable data on their movements around the landscape.

For more information on feral pig and wild dog control initiative in the Western LLS region, visit: https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/regions/western/key-projects/wild-dogs-in-the-western-region