Victorian Volcanic Plains Conservation Management News

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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Orchid Conservation Symposium – save the date

Fragrant Leek Orchid

Please see attached flyer to the 2019 Orchid Conservation Symposium to be held in June. Please tell your friends and colleagues. Bookings will open on the 15th of March and program details will be up on the RBGV website at the end of next week. Orchid Conservation Symposium poster


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Next Stony Rises Biodiversity Blitz

Here is a flyer for the possibly last (for now), Stony Rises Biodiversity Blitz.

Info from Becky McCann: This Blitz has a focus on further wildlife surveys, particularly microbats and finding the elusive Dusky Antechinus, that little marsupial mouse-like carnivore that we haven’t found yet at this property, but there’s a really good chance they are present, and this could be a great opportunity to help us make that important discovery!

This is a rare chance to explore an incredible and often under-appreciated part of our volcanic landscape, get to know the local plants and wildlife while participating in important citizen science surveys, and pick up some practical tips and skills along the way, working alongside experts who are happy to share their knowledge. Details on the flyer attached or contact me for more information (and to register).

With thanks to Trev Pescott and the Geelong Field Naturalists Club in making this happen! Continue reading

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Bringing back a roadside grassland

One of my highlights of the year was seeing the roadside grassland site at Woorndoo which has been direct seeded. Having followed the progress of the grassy groundcover recovery project over the years it is exciting to see the progression of techniques and how diverse grasslands may be put back into the landscape. John Delpratt and David Franklin and the Woorndoo Land Protection Group should be proud of this site. Another is addition planned in the coming year. Add to this the work done by Flora Victoria around Melbourne, then we should see much more work on grassland restoration and extension in the future.

Another report of the day at Woorndoo by Nature Glenelg Trust, Tiptoe through the Themeda…., may be found here

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The Roar of the Devil

In the usual quietness of the Devil’s Kitchen something was roaring, perhaps the devil was coming to life. This place of rugged beauty surrounded by massive rock walls, is home to a pair peregrine falcons but if they were present their cries were silent. All we could hear was the sound of water powering along the Woady Yaloak River, amplified by the basalt amphitheatre.

When I have visited before is has been to see if the peregrines were nesting and it is out with the binoculars, scan the tall basalt rock face and then move on. On Monday we were in the area so it was an impromptu visit. We were met by the roar of water, initially unseen, as the waterway is lined with flowering River Bottlebrush, Callistemon sieberi.

It is a challenging site to explore due to the seemingly impenetrable thickets of weeds but recently large areas of blackberry, willow and gorse have been sprayed so in the future that may change. It almost felt like autumn, as the day was mild and the willows are turning yellow. We decided to investigate further and found a set of steps that lead down to the water and along the creek and set off to get further along the river.

Devil’s Kitchen Geological Reserve is on the Linton-Piggoreet Road, near Linton.  There are 2 endangered Victorian Volcanic Plain ecological vegetation classes, Riparian Woodland and Plains Grassy Woodland. Here is a link to some history of the Piggoreet area and the gold mining in Devil’s Kitchen.

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Putting back the rocks

In an innovative move a utility company has added some rocks back into an endangered grassy woodland and installed a new telecommunication tower at the same time. The question is why does the 2km long trench run right up the middle of this Federally listed roadside? Moorabool Council and DELWP are communicating with the company involved.

The tower is on a previously disturbed area. Utility companies need to lift their game and while they may have some exemptions they need contact Council before they start work and check what permits may be required. I hope someone has notified the Federal Authority.