Victorian Volcanic Plains Conservation Management Network

Raising awareness about the value and use of native grasslands, seasonal wetlands, grassy woodlands & other ecosystems on the Victorian Volcanic Plains


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A Wake Up Call

Some of you will remember the time a few years ago, when contractors working on a roadside used a grassland as a worksite, squashed a few legless lizards and all hell seemed to break loose. For many of us while this was a very depressing incident it was the wake up call that was needed and it had a big impact.

The ramifications worked their way through many councils and other organisations and suddenly there was unprecedented and renewed interest in grasslands and grass was no longer just grass.

Many meetings were held to help people recognize endangered grasslands and understand their value and importance as habitat for a range of species and the responsibility of managing these areas. Training and procedures where improved and just about everyone knew a certain federal officer by his first name as he spent so much time on the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

This week emails  are doing the rounds highlighting inappropriate actions on roadsides. In the scheme of things people may say that this is a small insignificant incident. There are comments such as ‘need to improve protocols’, ‘lack of resources’ and many more that we have all heard before.

Have we dropped the ball? It doesn’t take long for complacency to creep in and for us to stop seeing the signs.

We are fortunate that we have people, who despite all the past incidents, knock-backs and dismissive responses, still feel passionate about grassy ecosystems. Without them grasslands would have already disappeared. Keep up the good work because we can’t afford to lose anymore grasslands and every little bit counts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where are the volcanoes?

Here is a link to a website that shows all the Victorian volcanic plain volcanoes.


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Season’s greeting and thank you

I would like to take this opportunity as the year draws to a close to thank you all for taking an interest in grassy ecosystems by following the VVPCMN via the blog, Facebook or twitter.

There have been some fantastic achievements. All the work that takes place wouldn’t happen without the positive support of a whole range of individuals, groups and organisations and some additional funding.

We hope everyone can build on this work next year and get even more people involved. Here are a few random photos from the least 12 months.

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End of year thank you

Fragrant Leek Orchid

Fragrant Leek Orchid

As another busy year draws to a close the Victorian Volcanic Plains Conservation Management Network would like to thank you for following us via the blog, Facebook and Twitter throughout the year. The number of followers continues to grow which helps to spread the word about what is happening on the VVP.

We acknowledge the continued work of a wide range of individuals, groups, facilitators, networks and organisations and especially the funding bodies and people who financially support the various projects on private and public land. There are some really great and positive things happening for our threatened species and communities.

We welcome your ideas, articles and photos to so we can continue to spread the word about activities on the VVP, through social media.

All the best for the holiday season.

Elspeth & the VVPCMN Steering Committee


Launch of Conservation Action Plan for the VVP

Here is a media release from Greening Australia about the launch of the Conservation Action Plan for the Victorian Volcanic Plains which took place on 30 November.

Participants at the launch in front of an iconic Red Gum at Inverleigh, Victoria. L –R: Rod White (Greening Australia), Donna Smithyman (CCMA), Aggie Stephenson (GHCMA), Paul Koch (Greening Australia), Alistair Phillips (Greening Australia), Nathan Wong (TfN), Gavan Mathieson (CCMA), Adam Merrick (TfN), John Riddiford (Acting CEO CCMA), Stuart McCallum (VVP Biosphere), Tim Hill (land manager – Tiverton), Rani Hunt (DELWP), Kate Hill (Flora Victoria) and Anna Carrucan (Greening Australia).

Participants at the launch in front of an iconic Red Gum at Inverleigh, Victoria.
L –R: Rod White (Greening Australia), Donna Smithyman (CCMA), Aggie Stephenson (GHCMA), Paul Koch (Greening Australia), Alistair Phillips (Greening Australia), Nathan Wong (TfN), Gavan Mathieson (CCMA), Adam Merrick (TfN), John Riddiford (Acting CEO CCMA), Stuart McCallum (VVP Biosphere), Tim Hill (land manager – Tiverton), Rani Hunt (DELWP), Kate Hill (Flora Victoria) and Anna Carrucan (Greening Australia).

Greening Australia together with Trust for Nature were joined by the acting CEO of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA) John Riddiford as well as representatives from the Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning together with various stakeholders to launch a Conservation Action Plan for the Victorian Volcanic Plains (VVP), at a property in Inverleigh, Victoria.

The VVP covers an area of approximately 22,000 square km’s, and stretches’ from Melbourne right across to the South Australian border. The area is home to a number of nationally threatened ecological communities including Natural Temperate Grasslands, Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands and Seasonally Herbaceous Wetlands, as well as a number of Ramsar listed wetlands. This area has been and continues to be heavily impacted by housing developments and agriculture with less than 5% of intact vegetation remaining.

This plan aims to consolidate and coordinate all the great work that is being carried out by various Government agencies and statuary bodies, including DELWP, local councils, Corangamite CMA, Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Parks Victoria, Vic Roads, Trust for Nature, Water Authorities, Friends Groups, Land Care as well as non-government organisations such as Greening Australia and private land owners.

“The development of this plan has already achieved a great deal by way of consolidating support for more effective and coordinated conservation and management activities across the VVP and will further drive the development of partnerships between Government agencies, NGO’s, landholders and all interested stakeholders that share our passion for a healthier and more productive VVP”, said Alistair Phillips – Director of Conservation Greening Australia.

For further enquiries or to find out how you can contribute to the process please contact Rod White from Greening Australia – rwhite@greeningaustralia.org.au

Here is a link to the projects that Greening Australia are undertaking on the VVP.


Native Grassland Flowers

It is not all weeds and gloom in Victorian Volcanic Plains native grasslands. They are beginning to flower and there are lots of sites to visit and events and workshops to attend. So get out there and see the sights. Here are some photos taken yesterday at the Rokewood Cemetery Grassland. I note from the wonderful new resource Flora Victoria, that Pimelea curviflora is a high variable species that has been divided into 6 varieties. I am sticking with a name a know for the photo below as I don’t have the patience of a botanist to get down and examine the plant.


Autumn in a grassland

Not many people venture out into grasslands in the autumn unless they are passionate about grasslands. I like to check them out whenever I get a chance and this time of year it is to see if they have been burnt, or to look at when the next burn should be organised. About a 1km section of Cattle Station Hill Road in Hepburn Shire has a good patch of grassland on both sides. The roadsides are wide and regularly burnt. At this time of year the kangaroo grass is obvious with an orange hue. Patches of common everlasting are also prominent with the silver foliage.