" In 40 years I have never seen a euc seedling under a (Sweet Pittosporum) canopy. If it is not controlled we lose the eucalypt forests." Professor Roslyn Gleadow, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University.
Following on from our Citizen Science workshop, Nerrena Tarwin Valley Landcare Group has developed our own website www.nerrenatarwinvalleylc.org.au/, established links with Birds Australia, and undertaken to have community bird monitoring days every 3 months. The concept we are developing will enable any interested user of the rail trail to participate and record bird observations using their mobile phones. Thanks to Sue, Herb, Coral and especially Jill for working on this. Our first bird monitoring trial is on Tuesday 18th December. Interested people are welcome to meet at the Koonwarra Recreation Reserve at 5 pm.
A few of us walked the rail trail with some international Landcare visitors from Uganda and the Philippines to discuss points of interest and promote mutual learning. We were pleased to be able to show them an echidna. How amazing to have both of Australia’s unique egg laying mammals on this site! Platypus have disappeared altogether from some Victorian waterways.
To learn about the latest research on Sweet Pittosporum, I contacted Professor Ros Gleadow and, as can be seen in the above quote, she confirmed the high threat Pittosporum undulatum poses to eucalypt forests. However there is also encouraging evidence that thorough removal of Sweet Pittosporum can be very effective and lead to an increase in native species richness, restoring natural plant community composition and function. Recent research does show that the flower sex story is more complicated than previously thought so removing all plants, not just the females, is recommended. Lots of practical information and further references are on the StopPitt website http://www.stoppitt.org.au/
You have may noticed archaeologists working in the Black Spur area. They are salvaging cultural heritage items prior to the disturbance caused by the South Gippsland highway re-alignment. Hopefully we’ll all learn more about human history near the Black Spur Creek from this.
The Major Roads Project Authority received no comments to their draft preliminary documentation for the Eucalyptus strzeleckii and Grayling fish. They expect EPBC approval early in the new year so they can set up a license agreements with DELWP and the rail trail committee for management of the wetlands for 10 years and the rail trail for 3 years. The MRPA expect to plant approximately 45,000 seedlings on the new highway footprint alone but their management of the wetlands and surrounds is even more important to us.
Kunzea ericoides are currently a mass of small white flowers and that wonderful rain recently has kept the wetlands “wet”. Jill will circulate news from the latest Landcare meeting at the Blue Tree Honey Farm, Dumbalk, where we admired the restoration of vegetation on the Tarwin River banks.
Kate Walsh, Coordinator, Black Spur Creek Wetland Project, for Nerrena/Tarwin Valley Landcare Group. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phone 0409 418 223.