Compared to many other parts of south-eastern Australia, the Mount Alexander Region has relatively high native vegetation cover. Most of this remnant vegetation can be broadly described as ‘box-ironbark forest’. There are numerous flora and fauna species for which these forests are one of their few remaining strongholds, including many species considered to be threatened with extinction at the state and national level. Some of the notable taxa include the elusive and charismatic Brush-tailed Phascogale; the plant known as Southern Shepherd’s Purse (Ballantinia antipoda) whose worldwide distribution is confined to the Mount Alexander Regional Park; and, the declining Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Community which has become a focus for Connecting Country.
The following list of resources may be useful and interesting to those looking to learn more about the biodiversity of the Mount Alexander region:
- Ants in our ecosystems – a description of some ant species and their role in the local landscape
- BirdLife Australia – the national organisation for bird study and conservation
- Birds in Backyards – a range of existing monitoring programs for birds
- Connecting Country’s woodland birds program
- How to create frog friendly habitat – Damien Cook and Elaine Bayes share some tips
Mosses and Lichens:
- Link to Cassia Read’s blog
- Booklet “Mosses of dry forests in south eastern Australia” – now available from Beth Mellick at the Wettenhall Environment Trust.
- Connecting Country’s bioregions and EVCs page.
- The online edition of the Wild Plants of the Castlemaine District is now available. 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. Connecting Country is proud to support the Castlemaine Field Naturalists and this project which was largely the work of the late Ern Perkins – a monumental achievement and an excellent resource. Wild plants of the Castlemaine District can be accessed by clicking this link: https://www.castlemaineflora.org.au/
Threatened flora and fauna
- Threatened species lists for Victoria: Advisory-List-of-Rare-or-Threatened-Plants-in-Victoria-2014, and Animals (Vertebrate-Fauna 2013, Invertebrate-Fauna 2009)
Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club: The Castlemaine Field Naturalists have produced a number of info sheets on local vegetation, inc acacias, grasses, and eucalypts. They are available on-line or at the Castlemaine Tourist Information Centre. They also have as a growing archive of information on birds, butterflies and other biota from across the Mount Alexander Shire.
Bowerbird: A website created to assist you in identifying what’s on your property, and to share and discuss Australia’s biodiversity, hosted by Museum Victoria.
Economic value of conserving biodiversity on farms: Fact Sheet by Sandra Walpole for the Riverine Plains Project
Natural Newstead: a fascinating local blog on flora and fauna from the Newstead area and surrounds