Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Wetland Ecology and Training Courses: October 2017 – March 2018

Posted on 31 August, 2017 by krista

Registrations are now open for Rakali’s popular wetland courses commencing October 2017 through to March 2018. The courses are presented by SERA 2016 award winning ecologist Damien Cook and Elaine Bayes. Don’t hold off as the NEW courses may be a once off depending on level of attendance and it’s the last time the Wetland Plant ID will be held in the North Central region of Victoria. Click on the following headings to find out more:

NEW: THE WONDERFUL WETLAND ECOLOGY BUS TOUR, 12 & 13 OCT 2017

Join us on a bus tour through some of northern Victoria’s most ecologically diverse wetlands that will be looking their best because of recent rainfall and flooding. Learn how ecological drivers determine wetland ecology.  Dixie Patton, Barapa Traditional Owner will share knowledge on aboriginal uses of these amazing wetlands.  Other land managers will meet us along the way.

NEW: WETLAND RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT, 16 & 17 NOV 2017

Learn about wetland restoration and management over 2 days with Damien Cook by visiting ‘Waterways’; a SERA 2016 award-winning wetland restoration project which he was involved in planning and implementing, followed by the 200 hectares of coastal park at the Victorian Desalination Plant, Wonthaggi.  Learn more about these projects here.

WETLAND PLANT IDENTIFICATION DAYS, STARTS OCT 2017 – MAR 2018

Learn to identify the most common wetland plants. In order to manage or restore a wetland you first have to thoroughly understand it.  Wetland plant species, condition and placement within a wetland can inform you as to what is going on. You can choose 1, 2 or all 3 days – Each day is timed to follow the wetting and drying of the stunning Reedy Lagoon at Gunbower Island or nearby wetlands so each plant guild can be seen in their splendor.

  • Day One:  Sedges, Grasses and Rushes
  • Day 2:      Aquatic Plants
  • Day 3:      Mudflat specialists.

Click here for more information and to REGISTER. Alternatively contact Elaine Bayes at  Rakali Consulting 0431 959 085 or email elaine@rakali.com.au. Each course can be done as an individual unit or as a complete package (ask Elaine about discounts).

Click here to read some articles on the importance of understanding wetland ecology and using plant knowledge for effective wetland management.

 

New Map of Wheel Cactus in Victoria

Posted on 22 August, 2017 by Asha

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (TCCG) has recently completed a project aimed at increasing awareness and knowledge about the noxious weed Wheel Cactus (Opuntia robusta), funded by Wettenhall Environment Trust. One of the valuable outcomes from this project is the construction a new map showing the distribution of Wheel Cactus infestations in Victoria. 

Our well-known former Landcare Facilitator, Max Schlachter, was employed as project officer by TCCG and has collated 345 recorded sites of Wheel Cactus within our state. These sites covered 105 different localities around Victoria, mostly in a band from the northwest to Melbourne, but including some surprising outliers elsewhere. The majority of the sites (69%) were new records, and the rest were existing records taken from current government maps, such as the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.

Some alarming conclusions from this mapping exercise were that within some of these localities, for example ‘Maldon’, there are too many infestations to record, plus there are very likely many infestations that were not able to be captured. The information gathered through this project will help communities and land managers better understand how Wheel Cactus spreads and how best to manage it.

If you want to know more about Wheel Cactus and how to control it,  you can go along to TCCG’s next Community Field Day on Sunday 27th August, CLICK HERE for more details.

 

Flora of Castlemaine and surrounds – the online guide is launched!

Posted on 9 August, 2017 by chris

On 1st August 2017, the online edition of the Wild Plants of the Castlemaine District was formally launched.  This comprehensive guide contains details on the identification, locations, preferred habitats and history of hundreds of native and introduced plant species found in Castlemaine and surrounding areas.  It can be viewed at the following stand-alone website location – https://www.castlemaineflora.org.au.

In November 2016, local natural historian – Ern Perkins – sadly passed away.  Ern’s passion for the understanding the intricacies of natural environment was matched by his passion for sharing his knowledge with others.  A few months before his passing, he first launched this compendium of local plant species as a freely available resource via USB memory sticks.  Ern had developed this guide based on information that he and others had collected and compiled over more than 40 years.  With the support of Ern’s family since his passing, the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club has worked with a local IT graphics firm to make this guide available as an online resource, allowing it to reach a much wider audience.  Financial contributions and other support towards this important project has also been provided by the Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests (FOBIF) and Connecting Country.  Each of these organisations will have a link to this flora guide from their websites.  A permanent link to it has been established from the Connecting Country website here.

It is intended to be a dynamic website, with updates made over time in response to taxonomic changes, new photographs and new findings.  Landholders, Landcarers, students and many other people from the Mount Alexander Shire and beyond will appreciate this valuable and easy-to-use resource.