As winter swung into spring, NACC’s Biodiversity Project Officer Kahree went out with DBCA staff and volunteers from the Geraldton Regional Herbarium group to conduct vegetation field training with Jenny Borger out at Canna Nature Reserve!
Despite much of the bush showing scars from TC Seroja, wildlife was abundant. Vegetation surveys aim to collect data on the structure and floristic composition of the bush, and were conducted within 10m x 10m quadrats. Features such as the canopy cover, geology, soil type, leaf litter and signs of animal disturbance or occupancy were recorded. All who attended soaked up Jenny Borger’s extensive and thorough knowledge of the bush as she explained the traits of many plant species.
The group spied vanilla, donkey and blue fairy orchids peeking in the understorey as they tallied the number of each plant species within the vegetation quadrats, and were able to whiff the cocoa-sweet scent of the Chocolate Lily (Dichopogon strictus). Budgerigars graced us with their cheerful chirping as they swept through the bush in small flocks, and a stick insect checked us out too.
Unusual plants that require disturbance to germinate revealed themselves in the burnt areas of the reserve – Androcalva adenothalia, a short-lived perennial prostrate shrub that hasn’t been seen for many years, as well as the sexually-reproducing small shrub Gyrostemon reticulatus. In a different part of the reserve, Grevillea tenuiloba was sighted, delighting us with its displays of toothbrush-like amber flowers.
Thank you to Jenny Borger for her expertise in training us for vegetation surveys for the trip, to the DBCA team for their support, and to the volunteers from the herbarium in participating in the field trip.
This project is supported by funding from the Western Australian Government’s State NRM Program.