Green thumbs for Blue Gums
More than 130 reception to year seven students from Tumby Bay Area and Cleve Area Schools have helped Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula to propagate 3800 local Blue Gum tube stock, as well as other associated native plant species.
These plants will be used to restore endangered Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum Woodlands that occur on farming properties in the Eyre Hills region between Port Lincoln and Cleve.
Natural Resources Officer Geraldine Turner said she was delighted to again be working with local schools on this new Landcare project titled ‘Protect and Regenerate Endemic Vegetation’, which is supported by the Australian Government’s Regional Land Partnerships initiative of the National Landcare Program and Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula.
“In the coming months students and the wider community will have an opportunity to work to protect and revegetate one of Eyre Peninsula’s most cleared and stressed woodland communities,” said Geraldine.
“During class time we demonstrated the skills of propagation, how the seeds are specially treated, and the best ways to plant the seeds and after care.”
The Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum (Eucalyptus petiolaris) Woodland is nationally classified as an Endangered threatened ecological community, which means it’s protected under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).
“It’s quite astounding when you look at the maps where this woodland once occurred compared to what’s left today,” said Geraldine.
“It is estimated that only nine percent of its pre-European distribution remains today.
“This project will provide a new home for a whole ecosystem of native animals an insects including thornbills, lorikeets, scarlet robins, diamond firetails, insect-eating bats like Gould's wattled bat, western pygmy and common brush-tail possums, and frog and lizard species.”
The blue gums are also important for hollow nesting birds like the very rare EP yellow-tailed black cockatoo.
These large trees occur naturally along creek lines and floodplains in high rainfall areas of southern and eastern Eyre Peninsula, earning them the nick name ‘water gums’ from local farmers.
This project will enhance existing blue gum woodlands, increasing the patch size and diversity through revegetation and protection works which will help towards securing these woodlands into the future.
For more information, or to register interest for an upcoming workshop, community members are encouraged to email DEW.NREPAdmin@sa.gov.au or visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/projects-and-partners/landcare-endemic-veg-proj