Rehabilitation to revive biodiversity on remote stations

29 Mar, 2009 01:00 AM
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The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has been working to restore landscape biodiversity on remote former pastoral stations in Western Australia's mid-west.

Muggon in the Murchison, and Moologool and Doolgunna near Meekatharra, have been the focus of a landscape rehabilitation project by DEC since 2005 to promote biodiversity conservation.

DEC Midwest Region senior pastoral lands officer David Blood said that without intervention, extensive areas would continue to degrade, threatening habitat values.

"Landscape restoration is a long-term commitment, as the changes required to effect a lasting re-instatement of perennial plant species and native fauna may take many years," Mr Blood said.

"Protecting and restoring biodiversity on such a large scale is a major challenge, but we have already made inroads into this and continue to undertake works to significantly improve the landscape for the benefit of biodiversity."

The most recent works involved staff from DEC's Blackwood and Perth Hills Districts visiting Doolgunna and Muggon between June and September 2008 to undertake infrastructure maintenance, rehabilitation of eroded areas and to prepare for a biological survey.

"Infrastructure maintenance included the installation of rainwater tanks, repairs to the homesteads and fences, removing trees and debris, filling in rubbish pits and repairing damage from the February 2008 floods," Mr Blood said.

"Extensive rehabilitation works were undertaken in the Ruby Bore catchment on Doolgunna, including the distribution of about 200kg of local grass seed, scrub packing active erosion gullies, repairing and upgrading road bunds and ponding banks and installing 54 lengths of wire netting pinned to the ground to trap sediments and nutrients.

"On Muggon we repaired and replaced bunding that was damaged by floods and repaired 60 ponding bank ends at Wolarry catchment by weighing down locally cut scrub with steel pipes and anchoring these with steel posts."

The crews also re-instated pit-trap lines that were installed in 2003 in preparation for the proposed biological survey on Muggon in late 2009.

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