Locals dig in to help endangered woodlands

News article |

A failing woodland ecosystem, stressed by historic over-clearance and dryland salinity amongst other threats, has been given a massive boost by local students, farmers, Council and Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula staff this year through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Natural Resources Officer Corey Yeates said it’s been a mammoth effort by all involved and he hopes moist subsurface soils will provide the hundreds of young Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum Woodland tube stock with extra vigour as we move towards spring.

“I’m very grateful of all the community assistance we’ve had to help recreate and restore targeted areas of the endangered EP Blue Gum Woodlands on eastern Eyre Peninsula. It’s been great to work with the Cleve Area School Year 1-2’s, 5-6’s and 7’s. Together we’ve planted and guarded a mix of 240 EP Blue Gum and important associated habitat plant species along the walking trail near Yeldulknie Conservation Park. It’s been a real joint effort, the District Council of Cleve assisting with ripping the site ready for the plants, doing weed control and then suppling their water truck on the day means that this site has had the best start it possibly could. If you haven’t been out to have a look yet be sure to get out there soon, challenge yourself and go a little bit further on your next Parkrun or a take a gentle stroll slowly past the site, and remember what the area is like now. Because this site, along with another site we’ve replanted with the Year 9’s on private property, will in future come alive with bird song, new hollows and habitat as species like native birds, pygmy possums, owls and native pollinating insects take advantage of the new habitat the students have helped recreate,” said Corey.

In a joint planting spree spanning from Wangary, through the Tumby hills in the south, to the northern extent of the woodlands range near Mangalo, key Natural Resources Staff Geraldine Turner, Rachael Kannussaar and Corey Yeates have worked with land managers and local school students to undertake 10 propagating days and plant well over 2000 EP blue gum tube stock and associated tree and understory plant species this winter.

A further 28 hectares of direct seeding has been planted around remnant patches of EP Blue Gum Woodlands on farming land on over 20 different properties throughout the Peninsula in the largest effort to date to the bolster the endemic population. In addition to the on-ground conservation activities independent consultant Mr Rick Davies has been out on site with Natural Resources Officers collecting evidence and making observations to complete the first comprehensive management plan for the woodland, which is a national threatened ecological community.

To get a copy of the EP Blue Gum Woodland factsheet, or for further information, call us on (08) 8688 3111 or visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep/projects-and-partners/landcare-endemic-veg-proj

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