The Biodiversity Refugia and Linkages project aims to support local and regional scale corridors enhancement and works at a landscape scale to protect biodiversity and restore ecosystem function and resilience. The project also focuses on the protection of flora and fauna species (particularly threatened species) and Threatened Ecological Communities (TEC) through the implementation of recovery plans, abatement plans and restoration of priority habitat patches as well as the enhancement of corridors and landscape connectivity.
The project is implementing management actions at priority sites (including Land for Wildlife, covenant properties, Meelup Regional Park) through on-ground works including weed control, fencing, revegetation and direct seedling trials.
The project is also addressing conservation actions for the Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis), a nationally-listed threatened species. A decline of the Southern Forest population has prompted, in part, the recent reclassification of the possum from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ in WA.
The project has worked on six strategic properties across the south west.
Key achievements include:
- A successful revegetation trial has been undertaken on a Land for Wildlife property in Chapman Hill using different techniques for site preparation for direct seeding and planting seedlings.
Other activities include weed control and rabbit control. Early results are showing that quadrats treated with mulch, compost and Bactivate on sandy soils are giving the highest amount of germinates.
On average, the direct seeding trials has resulted in 127,100 seedlings per hectare. The learnings from this trial will assist in planning of other revegetation sites into the future.
- In partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, 18 Western Ringtail Possums have been captured, collared and translocated from the Southern Forest population around Manjimup, into the predator-free Perup Sanctuary, to secure their population. The success of the translocation will continue to be monitored via radio telemetry and will enable the agency to determine survival rates and the approximate location of the animals in the sanctuary.
“The bonus (of regenerating the land) is that is it fascinating to watch and be part of. The birds and reptiles are my special joy but everyone can find something in bushland to enrich their life”
Mrs Hopkins, Land for Wildlife property owner
Works on private properties continuing into 2018 will include site preparation, weed control, infill planting, rabbit control, direct seeding and fencing.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Western Ringtail Possum (WRP) project will produce results of year two translocation monitoring. A summary of recommendations regarding translocation as an effective conservation action for the Southern Forest WRP populations will be provided.
The ‘Bring Them Back’ partnership project with Edith Cowan University will assess the effectiveness of revegetation/corridors, land management actions and the establishment of ecological linkages projects in the South Wheatbelt on the area’s unique fauna. The project will test wildlife response to habitat creation undertaken using a focal species approach in an agricultural landscape with scientific rigour. This project will produce a monitoring protocol for the Southern Wheatbelt to support community groups in monitoring of fauna biodiversity outcomes from revegetation projects.
SWCC will also work with partners and stakeholders in Busselton to install a strategic possum bridge to help reduce road fatalities of the Western Ringtail Possum.
One Land for Wildlife property owner has learned to look for “poo on logs” (possum scats) – a new and possibly exciting weekend activity for her.
- Private landholders
- Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
- City of Busselton
- Edith Cowan University
- Nature Conservation Margaret River Region
7 ha x site preparation completed
15.31 ha x site preparation completed
6 ha x area of revegetation works (12 000 seedlings)
10.8 ha x area of revegetation works (14 339 seedlings)
Jenelle Schult, Derani Sullivan, Stephen Newbey