World Environment Day 2019 – translocation projects benefit from community participation

In what is becoming an annual tradition NACC NRM partnered with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to celebrate World Environment Day 2019 and help restore the majestic Moresby Range Conservation Park.

The Moresby Range is an ancient landscape feature, formed some 50 million years ago and their unique shape makes for spectacular viewing. Plus, there are numerous areas of significant biodiversity provided by both the remnant vegetation and the landform that add to the tapestry of the landscape.

However on Wednesday, 5 June 2019, the wind was in full force and these views were obscured by swirling sand. But this did not stop the NACC NRM and DBCA teams  being joined by local community members from BirdLife Midwest-Geraldton and the Geraldton Herbarium Group to plant more than 200 threatened Eucalyptus cuprea, commonly known as Mallee Box, at the translocation site.

Listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) Eucalyptus cuprea is four to six metres tall, with flaky dark grey bark on the lower half of the trunk and smooth coppery or grey bark above. This species is distinguished by glossy dark green adult leaves, sparse oil glands and small white flowers that are arranged in inflorescence at the end of branchlets.

But not only did participants get their hands dirty by planting these seedlings, they also learnt all about the flora translocation process and why it is important.

DBCA Conservation Officer Alanna Chant informed the group that translocation is the deliberate transfer of plants or regenerative plant material from an ex situ collection or natural population to a new location, usually in the wild.

Ms Chant then went on to explain that a translocation planting involves more than just putting seedlings in the ground-  there is also the approvals process, collection of source material, weed and pest control, installation of reticulation, monitoring and on-going management – just to name a few.

After the hard work was complete everyone was able to relax – plus rinse the sand off their faces – and enjoy a healthy and much deserved lunch.

NACC’s Biodiversity Coordinator Jessica Stingemore helped organise the event and said that World Environment Day is about encouraging awareness and action to protect our environment and this translocation planting day was intended to achieve just that.

“Not only can translocation projects benefit from community participation, but also translocations provide a unique hands-on way for reconnecting communities with plant conservation efforts.”

 

Did You Know? The Moresby Range was once a seabed built up from sediment deposits over millions of years. Fossils from this ancient seabed can be found in various places in the Range. Over time the sea level has changed frequently, leaving the old seabed as an elevated rocky plateau bordered by the sand plain and dune systems to the west of the Range. This plateau has been eroded by streams following fault lines in the rock, creating the characteristic mesa style, flat top hills.

This planting was supported by the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme (part of the National Landcare Program), the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions and NACC NRM.

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