Strath Creek Project booklet sums it all up

coverThe Strath Creek Biodiversity Project achieved much in the two years it ran, from May 2012 to July 2014. The challenge now is to consolidate those achievements and encourage others to learn from this example. To celebrate and record these achievements we’ve put together a booklet summarizing the project’s goals, methods, partners and outcomes.

Click on the image to download an 11 MB medium resolution pdf of the booklet, or click this link for the 35 MB pdf. Hard copies of the booklet can be obtained from the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network by contacting:

  • uglandcare@gbcma.vic.gov.au
  • 03 57974405

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Volunteers essential to community projects

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Steve Joblin (Project Coordinator), Kate Auty (Guest Speaker), Ian McKaskill (Upper Goulburn Landcare), Shane Monk (Taungurung), Craig Rubenstein (Strath Creek landholder), David Wakefield (President Strath Creek Landcare), Terry Hubbard (Upper Goulburn Landcare).

The Strath Creek AGM, held recently, was also the final community event and celebration of the Strath Creek Biodiversity Project. Pictured above, the gate sign for all participating landholders is proudly displayed by Craig Rubinstein, flanked by Ian McKaskill (Project Steering Committee Chair) and David Wakefield (President, Strath Creek Landcare).

The event was busy and well attended, Continue reading

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A frenzy of activity as project finishes up

With the project winding up, the last few months have been very busy indeed. Volunteers, tractors, planting, fencing – all happening under Steve’s watchful project-coordination eye. And if you don’t believe all the rhetoric about steep hills – take a look below.

 

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The unexpected …

Over the course of the project we have been monitoring fauna on each of the sites using bird surveys, motion-sensor camera deployments and nest box inspections, in order to obtain base-line data for future comparison. The surveys regularly turn up the expected common birds – magpies, Galahs, Crimson Rosellas, Superb Fairy-wrens, Brown Thornbills, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, Grey Fantails, etc., and the cameras are full of shots of kangaroos and wombats – as well as foxes and deer! It could become all a bit ho-hum if it weren’t for the enjoyment of wandering the hills of the King Parrot catchment looking for birds, and also, just once in a while, the excitement of an unexpected rare species popping up!
In the case of birds, the surprises have come from a pair of Spotted Quail-thrush in ‘Hidden Valley’ (Site 4), and, most recently, a group of Southern Whiteface on the edge of one of the new sites added this year (see more details on Focus on Fauna). With mammals the Long-nosed Bandicoot (again in ‘Hidden Valley’) was unexpected, as was the frequency of occurrence of the threatened Brush-tailed Phascogale, which has so far been recorded on four of the project properties, including two of the new sites. A highlight early on in the project was of course the finding of an endangered Striped Legless Lizard on the Granters’ property (Site 5).

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Summer tour of project sites

This gully will be rehabilitated with funding from the Australian Government; one of the new project sites.

This 28 ha valley will be rehabilitated with funding from the Australian Government; one of the new project sites.

In mid-December two project staff (Steve Joblin & Bertram Lobert) toured several of the existing project sites, as well as a couple of the newly proposed project sites.

The object of the tour was to assess revegetation, direct seeding and natural regeneration progress at several of the newly fenced and planted sites and to undertake inspections of the sites recently added to the project.

One of the new project sites is part of a broader landscape-scale, private property rehabilitation project that has been running for several years. The property sits on the Yea Spur and the owner aims to rehabilitate its many hundreds of hectares of steep, cleared land over the next few decades. Funding from this project will expand the area treated on this property this year by 28 ha. Continue reading

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Another six sites (89 ha) added to project area!

New project sites (red stars) and existing sites (yellow stars).

New project sites (red stars) and existing sites (yellow stars).

At its last meeting (24.1.14), the Steering Committee approved expanding the project to include an additional six sites, totaling 89 ha! This increases the total area being rehabilitated for biodiversity conservation from 140 ha to 229 ha!

This is a significant achievement for a single project being implemented in, and by, a single Landcare group. This achievement, well in excess of the original project goal, has been enabled by:

  • The extensive use of corporate volunteers; this has injected in the order of $15,000 of volunteer labour into the project to date (with more to come).
  • The involvement of project partners, like 15 Trees, that have donated thousands of seedlings to the project.
  • The re-use of thousands of tree guards and stakes, saving the project many thousands of dollars.
  • The willingness of landholders to set aside substantial areas of steep hill-country for native vegetation rehabilitation, protection and establishment – far greater than the area initially envisaged.
  • The considerable commitment made by the entire project team to the smooth and efficient management of the project and perhaps most pivotal,
  • The considerable capacity the Strath Creek Landcare Group and Upper Goulburn Landcare Network have developed in recent years in delivering complex, landscape-scale biodiversity projects.

Congratulations Strath Creek Landcare!

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Projects workshop – Nov 2013

On site at the creek inspecting project work and discussing management options.

On-site at the creek inspecting project work and discussing management options.

Last Nov. 17th Strath Creek Landcare ran a combined workshop for several local catchment-health projects: the Landcare blackberry action project, our Biodiversity Fund project and the GBCMA’s waterway fencing project. The workshop examined and discussed a variety of on-ground works that the Landcare group and landholders are currently involved with. That so much is happening in this outwardly sleepy valley is a testament to this dynamic group.

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As always, a tasty lunch and drink were an essential part of the day.

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