Million dollar conservation program targets Grampians threats
Thursday 17 October, 2019
Parks Victoria is delivering a multi-year conservation program in the Grampians National Park to protect its unique environment, biodiversity and cultural values.
Over the next three months, the $1.8 million funded program will focus on feral goats, invasive sallow wattle and deer, which are all threatening the national park’s special values.
This month, Parks Victoria is working the Sporting Shooters Association Australia to remove feral goats in some remote areas of park. Feral goats are prolific grazers that browse and trample vegetation, foul waterholes, transport weeds and diseases. These pest animals have also been entering sections of the park with Aboriginal cultural values, including rock art shelters.
The invasive weed Sallow Wattle will also be targeted in October, with significant mechanical mulching and some manual and chemical control taking place. Believed to have been introduced from New South Wales, the tough weed is impacting plant diversity in northern areas of the park. These works will continue until the end of the year, and although it will not affect park access, visible tracts of the weed will be cleared.
Commencing in late November, Parks Victoria Rangers will work alongside professional contractors to control populations of deer, which are destroying vegetation, impacting ecosystems and competing for food against native animals. Highly skilled and accredited professional contractors will undertake these operations, which are thoroughly planned and carried out under strict conditions to ensure safe, effective and humane practices.
The Grampians National Park is home to one third of the state’s flora – some 800 indigenous plant species – and supports a wide range of wildlife with more than 40 species of mammals and an abundance of bird species. To protect these values, Parks Victoria regularly undertakes conservation programs designed to contribute to habitat restoration.
These projects are funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program which is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for. The program is investing $1.8 million in the Grampians National Park, and more than $4.3 million in 11 major projects in the Glenelg and Grampians region.
Quotes attributable to Rhonda McNeil, Area Chief Ranger, Parks Victoria:
“The Grampians National Park is a very special environment, a fragile landscape that faces ongoing threats from invasive and destructive animals and weeds.”
“Part of a larger conservation response, these spring and summer projects will help us to reduce the impacts of feral goats, deer and Sallow Wattle.”
“Though we don’t expect any park users or neighbours to be affected, safety plans will be implemented and some areas may be restricted for short periods of time.