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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Apply for the Leadership in Rabbit Control course

Do you currently manage a rabbit control program in your community or workplace? Are you keen to learn new skills, be inspired and collaborate with others for better rabbit control?

Boost your rabbit management expertise at the Leadership in Rabbit Control course.

27-29 November 2018, Boho South (near Euroa), Victoria

The Victorian Rabbit Action Network’s (VRAN) Leadership in Rabbit Control Course is open to all Victorians currently involved in the management of rabbits on private or public land. Continue reading


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Restoring Grassy Ecosystems

Many of you will know of Dr Paul Gibson-Roy, Lead Scientist, Greening Australia, from his various grassland revegetation projects on the VVP. He has written a new paper titled “Restoring Grassy Ecosystems – Feasible or Fiction?  An Inquisitive Australian’s Experience in the USA” (in the journal Ecological Management and Restoration). 2018_EMR_RestoringGrassyEcosystems_PaulGR

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The mysterious world of Spiny Rice-flower

Recently Debbie Reynolds gave a fascinating talk about Spiny Rice-flower to a small group at Federation University Ballarat. These are my notes from that talk.

There are about 150 species of pimelea (rice flowers) which are mainly found in Australia, New Zealand, Timor and New Guinea. In Australia there are 110 endemic species and of these 18 are listed as rare and threatened. The ones seen in basalt derived grasslands are Pimelea humilis, P. curviflora, P. glauca and P. spinescens subsp. spinescens.

Spiny Rice-flower

Pimelea spinescens subsp. spinescens is listed as critically endangered and only found in Victoria. The common name is Spiny Rice-flower which relates to the end of the stems which are pointed or spine tipped. It is a small spreading shrub to 30cm, winter flowering and usually seen from April to August. Continue reading

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Predators and prey: does rabbit control reduce the abundance of foxes?

This article comes from ARI as part of Science Week

IMG_3530It’s long been an important question in ecology – do predators control prey species, or does the abundance of a prey species control the abundance of a predator by influencing its food availability?  And what happens when both are invasive species, such as the European Rabbit and Red Fox in Australia?    Continue reading

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Canberra Friends of Grasslands

Sometimes there are requests for a VVP Friends of Grasslands group but the volcanic plains are a big space to cover and there are a lot of groups working all over the plains already.

I was reminded about the Friends group based in Canberra recently and decided to become a distant member.  They produce a really interesting newsletter and one day I hope to go and check out some of their grasslands. Continue reading

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Wander into a wetland

Registrations are now open for the Wetland Plant Identification Course November 22 2018. This 3 day course is for anyone interested in wetland plant identification and ecology.

Observe the changing seasons and water depths of the stunning Reedy Lagoon, Gunbower Island over a 6 month period. Each of the 3 days will focus on a different wetland habitat (wetting and drying) and associated plant community.

Courses presented by Damien Cook and Elaine Bayes. Only 25 places so
see the website for session outline, field guide provided, evaluations etc.
3 day course is $800 plus GST ($880).

More information, the 2018 flyer, program and to view feedback from past participants please click here

You can go straight to the registration page here


Moorabool Falls Grassy Woodland Walk

If you live near Ballarat, the walks near the Lal Lal and Moorabool Falls are worth doing. While the peak time is when there is water pounding over the falls there is still pretty of scenic views at any time of the year. Yesterday we didn’t quite get to walk to the less visited Moorabool Falls, but it was still great to get outside and look at the views.

The walk starts from the carpark on Harris Road Lal Lal. Look out for the elusive wallaby. While it might be tempting to stray off the mown path there is a lot of blackberry along the West Branch of the Moorabool below the Moorabool Falls.