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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Managing an offset with Matted Flax-lily

Here is an article by Dominic Bowd about the management of the endangered plant Dianella amoena, Matted Flax-lily, at an offset site in Epping. (Thanks Dominic for sending this in).  Here is the  Matted Flax-lily Article and a link to his blog Firewheel Landscapes.

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VVP in Colour – a photo competition

It is time to remind you about the CCMA photo competition. I hope you have been thinking about this over the holidays and have your photos ready to send in. This is one way to spread the word about the native  biodiversity of the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Teesdale – T. McRae

The Victorian Volcanic Plains come to life in spring and to show how amazing the wildflowers, plants and animals are on the basalt plains, the Corangamite CMA is running a photo competition. Everyone is welcome to enter. There are three categories: 

  • Wildflowers, plants and landscapes
  • Fauna
  • Photos taken by 12 years and younger  

Sign up to the Corangamite CMA Facebook and Blog to view the entries during the competition. The winning photo for each category will receive a $50 CSIRO book voucher!!

Entry requirements

  • Photographs must be submitted to jess.lill@ccma.vic.gov.au by Friday 23 February, 2018.
  • Photographs must have been taken within the Victorian Volcanic Plains bioregion. If you wish to look at a map of the VVP bioregion visit https://victorianvolcanicplainscmn.wordpress.com/about/maps/
  • Photographs may have been taken at any time.
  • Photographs may be taken digitally, using film or phone cameras.
  • The photographs must be print quality.
  • All photographs submitted are released for Corangamite CMA to use for future promotional purposes.

 


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VVP Seed Production Area

Did you know that there is an indigenous seed production area in the Geelong Botanic Gardens? The aim is to have a supply of VVP native grassland seed for restoration projects. It is funded by the Australian Government’ National Landcare Program, Geelong Botanic Gardens, Corangamite CMA and the Sunshine Foundation and supported by Greening Australia.

A few years ago there was a seed production area in the nursery section of the gardens and plants were grown in polystyrene containers. It was very successful and produced a lot of seed. This time the plants are in the ground in weed mat. The aim is to produce a greater quantity of seed than can be gained from collection in the field, with less stress put on local populations.

It is hard to judge how much seed is currently being collected but the bulbine lilies still have plenty of seed and the kangaroo grass is unharvested. Other plants growing are Myrnong, Button Wrinklewort, Blue Devil, Pussy Tails, Hoary Sunray and Salt-lake Tussock-grass. There is also Euphorbia drummondii, Caustic Creeper, but it probably made its own way there.

Caustic Creeper


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Photo-point monitoring training reminder for Western District Lakes

Re publishing this in case you are interested in attending and forgot to RSVP. Corangamite CMA are looking for volunteers passionate about photography and the Western District Lakes to assist in the long term photo-point monitoring of water levels in the lakes. Those interested in becoming a volunteer are invited to participate in a FREE two day environmental photography workshop with internationally recognized photographer and ecologist Alison Pouliot. Both days of the workshop will feature half a day of theory and half a day exploring and photographing the Western District Lakes.

WHEN: 10:00am – 4:00pm Thursday February 1 and Friday February 2

WHERE: Corangamite CMA, 64 Dennis Street Colac, VIC 3250

RSVP: There are limited spaces so get in early  – RSVP by Friday January 26 to (03) 52329100 or rose.herben@ccma.vic.gov.au


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Western District Lakes photo-point monitoring training opportunity

Corangamite CMA are looking for volunteers passionate about photography and the Western District Lakes to assist in the long term photo-point monitoring of water levels in the lakes.

Those interested in becoming a volunteer are invited to participate in a FREE two day environmental photography workshop with internationally recognized photographer and ecologist Alison Pouliot. Both days of the workshop will feature half a day of theory and half a day exploring and photographing the Western District Lakes.

WHEN: 10:00am – 4:00pm Thursday February 1 and Friday February 2

WHERE: Corangamite CMA, 64 Dennis Street Colac, VIC 3250

RSVP: There are limited spaces so get in early  – RSVP by Friday January 26 to (03) 52329100 or rose.herben@ccma.vic.gov.au


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More on native grassland burning

There was so much information from the CCMA workshop on ecological burning that I decided to post some more from my notes. Participants at the workshop would have gained a good understanding on the intricacies of burning and that there is a long way to go to get more ecological burning back into the landscape.

Kangaroo grass

One of the benefits of burning roadsides is to make them safer. Some weeds make roadsides unsafe. Police in the south west are pleased to see roadsides burnt as it helps to reduce accidents. Phalaris, an environmental weed on roadsides, grows very tall and may hide kangaroos which jump out and cause accidents. Native grass is not as tall and thick and kangaroos are more visible. Kangaroo grass greens up after rain and grows over summer providing less fuel for fires.

If we involve those who work on roadsides such as grader operators, they  learn about the value of grasslands and gain a better understanding of why they need to work in certain ways to prevent weed spread. Taking those involved on working on roadsides on bus trips provides a positive experience especially if participants are given grassland brochures and asked to find a few species.

Promote the good things that are happening. If CFA brigades that are involved in roadside burns are kept informed about projects on roadsides and participate in workshops they develop more ownership and keep a closer eye on roadsides.

 

When there are fire restrictions in place you will need a permit to burn. Fire breaks are required. Burning is very bureaucratic within the fire restriction period and you can’t burn before 10am if you want to.

CFA brigades choose to burn and there is no legislation that says they have to burn. Here is a link to a video about the Glenelg Hopkins CMA and the CFA working together to get better burning on roadsides.

Private landholders may choose to burn outside the fire restriction  period which is usually from late April depending on the season. They usually choose to burn from a mown break as graded and ploughed breaks are expensive to put in and maintain and may allow weeds to take hold. They also can have more flexibility on the time of day for burning.

 

Getting burns to happen is difficult with fewer workers employed on farms and more contractors employed for specific work. There are less private trucks and fewer volunteers.

Burning on private land is difficult. There are less skilled people and it is expensive to employ contractors. The CFA don’t want to assist as it is seen as an extra activity and it is hard to get extra people to assist. There is a lot of pressure to burn.

Traditional Owner burning is not the same as ecological burning. It may have ecological outcomes but it is done for different outcomes and has a strong cultural element. Here is a link to a burn at Teesdale.

Native grass has more protein that exotic grasses and markets are developing for the seed. The price of kangaroo grass seed has sky rocketed recently as interest grows. The management of grassland is expensive and there is a need to look for economic opportunities. Some Traditional Owners are becoming more involved in land management including burning and investigating new markets for native plant produce.