Dunes, dams, cats, roos and water: tackling big landscape issues across the state
Landscape levies collected by Green Adelaide in the Adelaide metropolitan area and redistributed to South Australia’s regional landscape boards are enabling investment in priority landscape-scale projects across the state.
The Landscape Priorities Fund (LPF) funded nine projects in 2020-21, with a further five LPF projects given the green light in early 2022. See the complete list of current LPF projects.
Interested in how the first round of projects are tracking? Here are highlights from five of the projects underway:
Removing every feral cat from the Dudley Peninsula on Kangaroo Island
Feral cat control is critical to the recovery of the endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart and other threatened species following the 2019-20 bushfires. Feral cats not only hunt wildlife, they also carry diseases that affect the island’s sheep industry.
The eradication of feral cats from the Dudley Peninsula (on the eastern most part of the island) is progressing well. It started from the east at Cape Willoughby in May 2020 and has since covered 65% of the area. The use of 4G connected cameras (more than 90 units), mostly sponsored by the KI community and general public, has greatly increased ability to respond quickly to feral cat detections.
Plans for 2022 include the trial of novel technologies for feral cat detection, capture and removal and to expand the area trapped much further west across the Dudley Peninsula. The community is very engaged with this project (around 99% approval) and many are keen to help with the on-ground works; Dudley landholders took part in a very successful winter trapping blitz covering more than 5,000ha for the eradication team (who covered the remainder) and capturing 61 feral cats in 10 days.
Returning functionality to South Olary Plains – Murraylands and Riverland
The South Olary Plains is an extensive landscape that spans from the Riverland north and across the New South Wales border towards Broken Hill. Renowned as where the River Murray meets the outback, the plains cover an area of more than 850,000 hectares, about twice the size of Kangaroo Island.
An ambitious, landscape-scale and multi-tenure project is implementing practical restoration activities to restore sensitive landscapes across the South Olary Plains by working with landholders, traditional owners, eNGOS and volunteers.
The project aims to reduce grazing pressure through direct pest control and by removing permanent water sources, allowing native vegetation the best chance of recovery. Indigenous ranger teams are hands-on in restoration activities including looking after a seed nursery, collecting seeds, and conducting rabbit surveys at dam restoration sites. Cultural heritage surveys at dam sites are identifying important areas are not to be disturbed when dams are decommissioned.
Other conservation activities underway include habitat characteristics surveys, and preparation for a controlled burn to enhance mallee habitat for threatened mallee birds.
Dune restoration for plovers and seeds for snapper: restoring coastal and marine habitats for wildlife conservation – Hills and Fleurieu
Our Plover Coast
Dune systems from Myponga Beach to Goolwa are having introduced grasses removed, to be revegetated with the local native spinifex vegetation. These deep-rooted running grasses capture sand and stabilise dunes, creating a natural buffer for storm surges and providing critical habitat for plants and animals, including hooded plovers. Activities underway:
- weed and rabbit control at priority dune locations
- spinifex association plant propagation by volunteers – more than 8000 so far
- spinifex association plantings at priority dune locations.
Seeds for Snapper
Seeds for snapper is a seagrass restoration project for fish habitat, where volunteers collect seagrass seeds from the beach and ocean. The seeds are then sorted and sown into sandbags and distributed to recreational fishers, who deploy them out into selected locations. This project will be delivered in partnership with OzFish, and planning is underway with on-ground activities due to commence in December 2022.
Optimising kangaroo management in SA - South Australian Arid Lands
This multi-region, multi-partner project addresses the threat posed by over-abundant kangaroos to the condition and resilience of rangelands ecosystems and the enterprises they support.
The project is bringing together stakeholders to explore and trial shared solutions, and find the common ground between environmental, economic, social and cultural interests that provide a basis for collaboration and shared responsibility for kangaroo management.
An economic analysis of the South Australian kangaroo industry is underway, as are investigations into a national approach for kangaroo management.
Stakeholders have been engaged to help prioritise ideas for projects, research and trials, and demonstrations.
Read more about how the partnership approach is likely to be the project’s secret to success.
Making Every Drop Count: a new approach to water security on the Limestone Coast
Under climate change predictions the Limestone Coast landscape region will be drier and hotter. Coupled with this a decreasing rainfall and a hotter climate will increase demand from users for water, placing pressure on the regions water security and sustainability.
This project aims to ‘make every drop count’ by supporting on-ground works, feasibility studies and generating foundational knowledge to support water security and sustainability in the Limestone Coast landscape region for all water use purposes.
These works and studies will help identify practical pathways and mechanisms to water security and sustainability for the region.
Examples of work underway includes: a community values survey, monitoring of water quality and levels at local waterholes and wetlands, weed mapping and control, drainage assessments, hydrological modelling and extensive stakeholder engagement.
See the detailed approach in the ‘Making every drop count’ fact sheet(January 2022)
For more information on any of the LPF projects contact the relevant lead landscape board shown in the complete list of current LPF projects.