Local knowledge about native fauna and flora in the Broken and Boosey creeks area is playing an important role in helping prioritise management activities at smaller public reserves.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority Conservation Management Network co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith and Broken Boosey CMN and Broken Creek Field Naturalists representatives Collier McCracken, Deb Hill and Paul Huckett recently met Parks Victoria’s Scott Cunningham to carry out a ‘test’ site assessment at a Youanmite reserve.
‘‘This was the first time the groups have been involved in an assessment like this, so for a couple of hours we walked the reserve, noted its different environmental values and fine-tuned our survey techniques and processes,’’ Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.
‘‘The site was then given a score and this information is then fed back to Parks Victoria so the appropriate resources can be allocated to manage the reserve.’’
Ms Mentiplay-Smith said Parks Victoria had many reserves — some only a couple of hectares — dotted around the catchment.
‘‘These sites, though small, are often important sites because they’re home to precious plant and animal species,’’ she said.
‘‘They are important ‘islands’ in the landscape and provide a vital refuge for woodland birds, sugar gliders and other small marsupials such as the fat-tailed dunnart.
‘‘These animals in turn provide an important food source for the ‘top order’ predators in our landscape, such as the goanna and owls.
‘‘Unfortunately, illegal rubbish dumping, firewood gathering and off-road vehicle use all contribute to the degradation of these sites.
‘‘The dedicated volunteers from the Broken Boosey CMN and BCFN have a whole suite of knowledge about the flora, fauna and habitat condition of these sites, which can be tapped into to help Parks Victoria prioritise works that are needed, such as new signage, rubbish clean-up, pest plant and animal control, track repairs and revegetation.
‘‘This is a great way for these two community groups to get together and contribute their immense knowledge of the local flora and fauna.
‘‘We look forward to visiting future reserves and doing further assessments.’’