Restoring Rare Flora in the Moresby Range

We’re proud to say that NACC staff “lent a hand’ when 40,000 seedlings were recently planted into 16 hectares of cleared land in the Moresby Conservation Park – providing a lovely outdoor volunteering end to the team’s normal working week.

With assistance from NACC staff, Aboriginal Central Regional TAFE students, and members of the Geraldton Herbarium Group, staff from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) undertook Stage 1 of their three-year revegetation and landscape restoration project.

The seedlings planted included 32 species which had been grown and collected from the Park, with the objective to restore habitat and link surrounding populations of four threatened flora.

The four threatened flora are Mallee box (Eucalyptus cuprea), Hoffman’s spider orchid (Caladenia hoffmanii), Moresby Range drummondita (Drummondita ericoides), and Bracted grevillea (Grevillea bracteosa subsp. howatharra). This revegetation will also provide additional roosting and feeding habitat for Carnaby’s Black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), which currently frequent the area.

NACC volunteers with DBCA staff on the job in the Moresby Range.

The vegetation being restored is a Priority 1 Ecological Community ‘Plant Assemblages of the Moresby Range System’, which is an ecological community that has largely been cleared, and is restricted to the Moresby Ranges.

The three-year DBCA project includes activities such as habitat revegetation, rabbit and pig control, and translocations of two threatened plants into fenced safe havens where the main predator threats (rabbits and pigs) have been removed.

The project is being coordinated by DBCA Geraldton Flora Conservation Officer Alanna Chant who said that although it has been a dry Autumn, the little rainfall that has been received has been a good watering-in for the new seedlings.

“Grazing from rabbits and kangaroos, and disturbance by pigs is a significant on-going threat to the revegetation. Therefore, DBCA staff will continue to carry-out rabbit and pig control in the Park to give the seedlings a fighting chance,” she said.

NACC Biodiversity Program Coordinator Dr Jessica Stingemore said the partnership volunteering event provided a great opportunity for NACC staff to get out into the Moresby Range and do some on-ground work with DBCA colleagues.

“NACC puts a lot of emphasis on developing and maintaining conservation partnerships with like-minded organisations – like DBCA – as well as with community groups, research organisations and conservation experts to collectively help protect our unique flora and fauna,” she said.

“Threatened species recovery requires sustained effort from many people, from both the public and private sectors, all working to make a positive difference on a landscape scale. We are fortunate to have staff from the DBCA who have exceptional expertise in this area.

“By partnering together, we magnify our outcomes and ensure our contributions have long-term effects and outcomes for biodiversity.”

This Project has been jointly funded by DBCA and NACC through funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Programme.

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