A twofold community project to raise community awareness of the impact of fire on local threatened species, and to propagate and plant the rare Omeo Gum burnt during the 2020 fires in the Upper Buckland Valley.
Threatened Species and Fire Recovery Community Forum
Stories from Upper Ovens Valley, Mt Buffalo National Park, 30 April 2022
About 60 people attended the full day forum at Mount Buffalo to discuss the impact of multiple fires on local threatened plant and animal species. Experts spoke about the effect of frequent fire on key alpine species such as Mountain Pygmy Possum, Broad-toothed Rat and Smokey Mouse among a long list of other species under threat.
Long fire free periods are desperately needed to prevent a total change of state. The forum was opened by Aboriginal Traditional Owner Uncle Shane Monk who spoke of the concern of First Nations people about the health of the country and the effect climate change and too many fires.
Thank you to presenters from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Zoos Victoria, The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARI), Platypus Conservancy and Royal Botanic Gardens who shared their stories about the ecology of so many fascinating species.
Omeo Gum (Eucalyptus neglecta) regeneration in Upper Buckland
On a field trip to the Upper Buckland valley where the rare and threatened eucalypt species grows, UOVLG members learnt about, and collected Omeo Gum seed. Around 1000 plants were successfully propagated and nine small pens constructed to stop deer and cattle browsing the seedlings.
Most of the Omeo Gum seedlings were planted into the pens in the Upper Buckland along with interpretive signage explaining the project. A final 70 seedlings were planted into tree guards adjacent to the pens at Beveridge’s Station in the Alpine National Park.
The Upper Buckland is a beautiful and relatively remote pristine place. It will be necessary for the Landcare Group to continue weed control and fencing maintenance as the young Omeo Gums mature.
Thanks to the Alpine Nursery, and funding from National Bushfire Recovery Program and Zoos Victoria.