Had a wander through part of the Traralgon Sth Flora and Fauna Reserve recently and there is a lot to see and enjoy. With spring flowers blooming especially the Eucalypts there is an abundance of food for Birds and Insects to enjoy.
As with most localities feral animal locally pose a threat to both the environment and agriculture. Cats and Foxes prey on birds and small reptiles and mammals, Rabbits cause erosion and damage pasture and native vegetation with their grazing. Indian mynas are aggressive birds and can displace native species from their habitat. Deer are an emerging issue and they can be very destructive, especially to wet gully areas.
Effective control is best done in an integrated and coordinated way. i.e. it is usually futile trying to destroy one pest if there is surrounding population that is not being controlled. Let everyone know what pest animals are concerning you by completing the poll below.
The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is one species that has recovered quickly after the fires. With their ability to move quickly they had more chance of escaping the fire front and are also able to recolonise areas quickly. The open canopy after the fire provided the opportunity for fresh green grasses and herbs to grow which is the Kangaroos preferred diet.
Do you have some bushland on your property and are curious to know what wildlife might be around? As part of this Bushfire Recovery Project we are using remote cameras to get an idea of what animals have survived or recolonised the burnt areas. At this stage (after about a month of filming) we have recorded species such as Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies and Wombats as well as Foxes (unfortunately widespread) and Rabbits. We are very keen to move our cameras around and hopefully get some evidence of some smaller marsupials thriving such as Bandicoots and Bush Rats, or even get some snaps of a Strzelecki Koala. Get in contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in borrowing a camera to use in your patch of bush.
The key to protecting our unique Koala population and ensuring their long term future is to ensure that they have high quality habitat to live in. Koalas need to be able to find regular food and young need to be able to safely disperse to new areas and find breeding partners. The key things that the community can do is to protect existing habitat, this includes controlling weeds such as Blackberries that Koalas are unable to move through. Gullies and Riparian areas are particularly important areas for Koalas, especially in summer, because they are cooler and the leaves there have higher moisture content. The other thing to do is improve it by extending it and linking it to other suitable habitat nearby.
In the region Hancock Plantations (HVP) manage a large area of Koala habitat. They have strategies in place designed to better understand and protect the Koala populations and are open to working with community members on projects such as Koala habitat linkages. They have been involved in work to map the Koala habitat across the region on the land they manage. Studies have shown locally the preferred trees for Koalas are Mountain Grey Gum (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa), Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis), vegetation that is dominated by these species is classed as “Primary Koala Habitat“.
However all indigenous Eucalypt species in this district have been shown to provide Koala food and habitat. Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests as well as Yertchuk (E. consideniana), Messmate (E. obliqua) and Apple Box (Eucalyptus bridgesiana) are classed as “Secondary Species” so are still very important habitat areas.
Narrow Leaf Peppermint (E. radiata/croajingolensis) and Swamp Gum (E. ovata) are classed as supplementary species, and are also known to support Koalas.