Conservation program to protect native vegetation in Mount Mittamatite
Monday 28 October, 2019
Parks Victoria has undertaken a successful conservation program designed to contribute to habitat restoration and predator management in the Mount Mittamatite Regional Park and Flora Reserve and is one step closer to eradicating feral goats as a result of a recent aerial control program.
Feral goats have a negative impact on native vegetation through overgrazing, physical damage to plants, in particular Black Cypress-Pine trees, degrading rocky outcrop areas such as Emberys Lookout and can carry exotic diseases, including Q fever.
Parks Victoria regularly undertakes conservation programs to ensure environmental values are protected for future generations. These programs include activities such as monitoring of grazer and plant populations, revegetation, spraying, controlled burning, and animal control programs. These programs are crucial to restoring habitat and improving overall landscape health.
Since 2006, Parks Victoria, along with Sporting Shooters Association of Australia volunteers, have worked together to remove over 100 feral goats from the Mount Mittamatite Regional Park and Flora Reserve.
However, removing the small number of remaining feral goats on foot proved too difficult in the steep, rugged terrain and thick vegetation of the 4,000-hectare park so Parks Victoria opted to utilise a targeted aerial operation. This method proved effective in accessing remote areas of the park along with the successful location and removal of thirteen goats from the park leaving approximately five goats in the park.
Quotes attributed to Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger Chris Derrick:
“Victoria's parks are home to more than 4300 native plants and 948 native animal species. Parks Victoria plays a vital role in protecting native plants and wildlife.”
“The aerial operation not only removed a large proportion of the remaining feral goat population from the Park but provided important information on the remaining population structure and location that will aid future eradication efforts.”
“Parks Victoria will continue to work with neighbours and stakeholders aiming for complete eradication of feral goats from within the Mount Mittamatite Regional Park and Flora Reserve.”