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The Farm Wetlands for Woodlands project is located in the Warrenbayne-Boho and Swanpool Landcare areas of the northern Strathbogie Ranges, Victoria, Australia. The community project is supported by the Victorian Government's Communities For Nature program and the Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network. The project time-frame is June 2012 to May 2014.
About this Communities for Nature project
On 18th April 2012 we received news that our Farm Wetlands For Threatened Woodlands project had been successful in the Victorian State Government's 'Communities for Nature' funding program. This project will be conducted in the districts of Swanpool, Warrenbayne, Boho and Euroa. Funding for this two-year project is $137,355 and it will run from mid-2012 to mid-2014.
The main project partners are:
- Strathbogie Ranges CMN
- Warrenbayne-Boho & Swanpool Landcare
- Gecko CLaN
- Euroa Arboretum Indigenous Nursery & Seed Bank
And there's the opportunity to include other groups, where appropriate.
Which local issues does this project address?
The project will target habitat for threatened fauna species and enhance and protect biodiversity hotspots in farming landscapes within the 'woodland zone' of the northern Strathbogie Ranges. Two threatened frogs, Growling Grass Frog (Litoria raniformis) and Bibron's Toadlet (Pseudophryne bibroni), have fragmented distributions in this landscape. Many species of waterbird, particularly migratory species such as Musk Duck, Australasian Bittern, Nankeen Night-heron, Hardhead Duck, Latham's Snipe, and Rail and Crake species also occur here. The surrounding woodlands are home to the Threatened Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolkensis).
Why is this important?
Remnant woodlands and their natural wetland components are highly diminished and often highly modified in this landscape. Many landholders are aware of the opportunities to secure and build biodiversity assets using farm dams as a starting point. Securing fenced (stock-proof), revegetated farm dams with shallow and deep water components, is central to the conservation of wetland biodiversity. Ensuring these wetland habitats are connected to surrounding woodland habitat assists landscape-scale ecological functioning.
(1) Benchmark waterbird and frog distributions in the project area, with particular focus on the Growling Grass Frog and Bibron's Toadlet. (2). Engage and empower local communities by delivering a variety of community activities and developing & distributing wetland educational material. (3) Create three local, best practice demonstration sites of farm-dam-to-wetland transformation and follow-up with cost-share funding for at least 10 other landholders to convert farm dams into farm wetlands. (4) Protection and enhancement of 15 ha of critical wetland habitat. (5) Share and archive all project information, results and insights via project website.
- Control 2 ha of Blackberry, St John's Wort, Sweet Reed Grass around wetlands and associated streams.
- Improve/clean-up approx. 1 km of waterway/wetland- improve water quality and replace logs in streams/wetlands.
- 5 ha (1500 plants) of indigenous revegetation, including fencing.
- Assess and protect (fence) 15 ha of native wetland/woodland vegetation.
- Prepare & distribute project advertising & educational material.
- Collect wetland biodiversity information (frog & bird species), build a local wetland database and submit records to Vict. Biodiversity Atlas.
How will the project build skills and knowledge in the local community?
Experts will provide training and guidance on design and construction of farm wetlands. Local project coordinators will work closely with landholders and community to maximise local learning. Visits to high quality existing constructed wetlands (local and regional) will develop vision and imagination. Project participants will have access to wetland construction design principles, case studies and all project results. The biodiversity information collected during the project will form the basis of a local, on-line wetland-woodland data-base for future reference.