More trees to boost EP Blue Gum communities

News article |

Land managers, school students, volunteers, and Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board staff have come together to plant 800 new Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum seedling in the Cleve district to aid the struggling and endemic EP Blue Gum communities to recover.

13 July 2020

These communities, which are generally found along creek lines in the Cleve Hills and Coolanie Valley area, play hugely important roles in our local ecology and regenerative farming practices. They support functional soils in regard to nutrient, carbon, and water cycling; provide erosion protection; create windbreaks and shade for native and stock animals; take carbon dioxide out of the air to combat climate change; and provide essential habitat and vegetated corridors of travel for numerous fauna species.

Landscape Officer Rebekah Davenport said that preserving these systems has substantial benefits for both the ecological environment and famers who use the surrounding land.

“Ongoing recovery actions are now focused on restoring and replenishing the entire woodland community in a holistic conservation effort,” Ms Davenport said.

Restoration of degraded EP Bluegum areas has been ongoing over the last 4 years and funded by the Protect and Regenerate Endemic Vegetation (PREV) project. Multiple landholders have been involved in preserving sections of their land, introducing both EP Bluegum trees and other community plant species as seedlings or via direct seeding. 800 additional EP Blue gum trees have been sourced for planting this year to further increase select site size and ensure that communities have the important over story that these trees provide.

School students, volunteers, landholders, and landscapes officers have been working hard over the last 2 months to get trees into the ground during the wetter months with sites including private lands in the Cleve hills and Gum flat, Sims farm, and roadside along the Yeldulknie weir walking trail.

Landscape Officer Sarah Voumard adds that community investment has been instrumental in ensuring EP Blue Gum communities continue to recover.

“It has been fantastic to have the level of interest, from different landholders and across multiple generations, for the perceived value of planting EP Blue Gums to enhance this endangered community” Ms Vourmard said.

The Blue Gum itself can be identified by its large gumnuts and bark transitioning from rough to smooth as you travel up the tree. This ecosystem supports numerous plant and animal species such as other Eucalypts, sheoaks, ever-green shrubs, birds, pygmy and brushtail possums, various reptiles, frogs, bats, and kangaroos.

This project, funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program in 2019, would have not been possible, or indeed as successful, without the support and involvement of local community and land managers.

The EP Landscape Board and staff wish to express their thanks to all involved.

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