Plains perfect for a picky wanderer

Wednesday 18 December, 2019

Parks Victoria has successfully completed conservation work to improve habitat for the critically endangered bird the Plains wanderer.

Rangers have been working to remove all African boxthorn from Terrick Terrick National Park west of Echuca. 

African boxthorn is a fast growing invasive species that, if untreated, spreads quickly. The weed has been in the landscape for so long, it’s become a normal sight in the local area. 

The weed provides ideal conditions for threats to the Plains wander including a perching branch for raptor birds, and it also creates perfectly hidden spots for rabbits to burrow. Removal of the boxthorn has extended the preferred habitat for Plains wanderers, known to prefer low lying scrub. Since the weeds removal more birds have been sighted in regular night time surveys. 

This project has been funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for.

For the last two years work has focused on cutting the weed, painting the stumps to prevent regrowth and removing the waste. The locations of the removed weeds have been mapped to provide information for future follow up work.  

Parks Victoria staff in the grasslands will continue to monitor the area for boxthorn and begin work to remove another invasive plant, cactus from nearby woodlands.

Quotes, attributed to Timothy Schwinghammer Parks Victoria Grassland Ranger. 
“It’s exciting to see more Plains wanderers in the areas where boxthorn has been removed. 

“We envisage that the weed’s removal will have a long term positive effect in the landscape, not only for the Plains Wanderer, but also for other rare and threatened fauna and flora including Hooded scaly-foot, Fat-tailed Dunnart and Broughton Pea. 

Media enquiries

Elizabeth Mckenzie

(03) 8427 2405 Mobile: 0436 669 524

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