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Work starts to protect endangered Eyre Peninsula blue gum habitat


The Nature Foundation is working with an Eyre Peninsula landowner and the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board to protect a significant patch of endangered native vegetation.

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The property contains 13 ha of Eyre Peninsula blue gum woodland that is a nationally threatened ecological community listed as endangered under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Liam Crook, the Nature Foundation program coordinator for the project, said a part of the property will be soon designated as a Significant Environmental Benefit area and work will begin to improve the condition of native vegetation over 10 years and protect the area in perpetuity.

“Protecting remnant native vegetation is vitally important in SA, including on the Eyre Peninsula, because of the historic clearance and habitat fragmentation across the landscape,” Crook said.

“This project can provide an on-ground ‘offset’ for vegetation clearance associated with infrastructure development in the local area, by delivering tangible outcomes for Eyre Peninsula flora and fauna.

“These pockets of existing native vegetation provide refuges for our native fauna and it is crucial to protect them in perpetuity, so they’re not going to be cleared or damaged in the future.”

The property contains 13 ha of endangered Eyre Peninsula blue gum. Photo: supplied

The project will reduce the competition from high threat weed species that significantly compromise the available nutrients for native vegetation.

“Some introduced species just blanket the area and do not allow new recruitment of native grasses and forbs – it really does have an impact on the diversity of the native species that are out there,” Crook said.

“Managing weed infestations and controlling the feral animal population allows for the regeneration of the bush and often increases biodiversity.”

The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board has provided $10,000 of funding for the project through its Grassroots Grants program.

Nature Foundation has provided additional support to set up the SEB offset area and management plan for the landowner to follow.

“We see that there’s untapped potential and opportunities on the Eyre peninsula for landowners to improve and protect the native vegetation on their properties without being out of pocket as well,” Crook said.

Once the approval process has been finalised with the Native Vegetation Council at the Department of Environment and Water, the landowner will be responsible for the management plan for this special patch of habitat on the Eyre Peninsula.

Nature Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that protects South Australia’s natural environment on their eight nature reserves, comprising over 500,000 ha, and in collaboration with different partners and landowners. In total, they have helped protect the flora and fauna on more than 1.15 million hectares.

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