National NRM update for April 2022. 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.
Victoria's North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has received a $398,888 grant from the Australian Government’s Murray-Darling Healthy Rivers Program to support a project to protect threatened fish species through works undertaken in the Kiewa River. The project will deliver direct instream and riparian habitat improvements including resnagging along 15km of the river, focused on three threatened fish species – the Trout Cod, Macquarie Perch and Murray Cod. A major component of the program will be community involvement, with significant input to the project by the Kiewa and Wodonga Urban Landcare Groups, local fishing clubs, First Nations groups and adjoining property owners. Read more at the link.
Queensland's Reef Catchments is wrapping up a four-year project funded by the Queensland Government’s Natural Resource Investment Program, aimed at enhancing the relative condition of freshwater streams and wetlands in the Mackay Whitsunday region. The before and after photos from one of the streambank re-vegetation projects near Koumala demonstrates the significant improvements that were achieved in the two and a half years between the photographs. Over the course of this project, more than 11,000 native trees have been planted across the region. The roots from the vegetation are critical in stabilising streambanks, making them less prone to erosion. Local Landcare groups and contractors did an outstanding job establishing native regeneration which speaks volumes about the benefits of long-term commitment to site maintenance.
OceanWatch has been working to recover areas of mangrove in NSW's Clyde River damaged by the 2019-2020 bushfires. In many of the damaged areas, there has been little to no regrowth in the two years post-bushfire. Mangroves are essential habitats where many aquatic animals live, feed, and breed and the degradation of these habitats post-bushfire has been concerning. This has led OceanWatch to trial restoration techniques, which involves planting mangroves seedlings into the damaged habitats.
With the help of a team of volunteers, MangroveWatch and staff from OysterLife over 800 mangrove seedlings have been collected from the river and 550 of these planted into the damaged areas. The remaining seedlings are being housed in a mangrove nursery and will be planted out later. This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by OceanWatch Australia and the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.
Queensland's Burnett Mary Regional Group has recently facilitated three workshops and field days for the rangers with their partners at Butchulla Aboriginal Corporation. The training covered topics such as weed control, water quality, and pest control operations, building on the rangers' skills and knowledge in the deliverance of on-site project work in the natural resource management space. The rangers’ new skills and knowledge will be put into practice as they participate in upcoming bushfire recovery on K’gari (Fraser Island). This is part of BMRG’s ‘Strait Expectations’ project, which aims to enhance the ecological character of the Ramsar-listed Great Sandy Strait wetlands through a combination of upstream sedimentation control works and on-site remediation activities.
WA's South West Catchments Council (SWCC) is investigating the use of Felixer™ grooming traps to control introduced predators such as foxes and cats, which can drive populations of native animals to extinction. Ten vulnerable species in the Upper Warren region of southwest WA, including numbats, woylies and western ringtail possums, have managed to stave off this threat, thanks in large part to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction’s (DBCA) Western Shield predator management program. However, seven of these ten species have still suffered major population decline, with predation by feral cats implicated as a significant contributing factor. SWCC is working with DBCA and Blackwood Basin Group to test whether newly developed Felixer™ grooming traps have the potential to reduce feral cat numbers and help to protect remaining populations of these vulnerable native species. Read more at the link.
SA's Kangaroo Island Landscape Board’s native oyster reef restoration project is well underway, with construction of these reefs in coastal waters near Kingscote and American River due to start this autumn. These reefs will not only provide a structure for native ‘angasi’ oysters to grow, but also for recreational fishers to target their favourite species, such as King George whiting and southern calamari. Native angasi oysters were once abundant across southern Australia, including Kangaroo Island (KI), before European settlement. Extensive reefs above and below the tideline were exploited for food and as a building material in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and now only the odd patch or individual exist on mainland Australia and on KI. For more information about this project, visit https://www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ki/news/kangaroo-island-landscape-boards-native-oyster-reefs-build-this-autumn
In NSW, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services have been working with Gwymac Landcare to set up landholders with wildlife drinkers. Take a look at the video from NTLLS to find out more about why monitoring koala activity using wildlife cameras on the koala drinkers is useful for future planning including drought planning. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sXSmGjlCNw