Plains-wan­derer boost

Southern Riverina news - - RURAL OUTLOOK -

The ‘Pad­docks for Plains-wanderers’ project has been al­lo­cated fur­ther fund­ing in 2019 from the Na­tional Land­care Pro­gram.

It will en­able more work to be done with lo­cal land­hold­ers who have pri­mary habi­tat for Plains-wan­derer and recog­nises the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered sta­tus of the Plain­swan­derer and the chal­lenges it faces as the drought deep­ens in the western Rive­rina.

The funds will be used to con­tinue the land­scape-scale fox bait­ing pro­gram and ex­pan­sion of the land­holder in­cen­tive pro­gram.

Plains-wan­derer project of­fi­cer Me­gan Purvis said the sup­port from land­hold­ers in the first year of the project had been en­cour­ag­ing with 25 pad­docks, cov­er­ing 4,655 hectares, signed up for the project in the first 12 months.

‘‘It was a great mile­stone to get eight land­hold­ers on board in 2018 with in­cen­tives such as stock proof fenc­ing, wa­ter­ing points and salt­bush plant­ings that will take some pres­sure off these patches of Plains-wan­derer habi­tat, at the same time ben­e­fit­ing stock.

‘‘With this ad­di­tional fund­ing, we are now look­ing for more land­hold­ers to come on board in 2019 to build on the great start made on the project. This is even more im­por­tant with the in­creas­ingly dry con­di­tions.

‘‘By join­ing the project we can help land­hold­ers make im­prove­ments for their stock man­age­ment at the same time keep­ing suf­fi­cient cover in the Plains-wan­derer pad­docks to help the birds sur­vive the dry con­di­tions.

‘‘We work with the land­holder on a pack­age of ac­tions that suit their par­tic­u­lar cir­cum­stances. These may in­clude wa­ter­ing points, salt­bush plant­ing, stock man­age­ment ar­eas, lick feed­ers, box­thorn con­trol and pest animal con­trol.

‘‘It’s a ground-up ap­proach that has the flex­i­bil­ity to find ways of sup­port­ing these iconic birds, at the same time help­ing with live­stock pro­duc­tion.’’

Dar­ren O’Loughlin, who man­ages ‘Cooin­bil’ at Dar­ling­ton Point for Par­away Pas­toral, has re­cently joined the project.

He will un­der­take weed and pest con­trol over 1000ha of Plains-wan­derer habi­tat.

‘‘We will not only be im­prov­ing con­di­tions for the Plains-wan­derer, but im­prov­ing our soil and pas­ture man­age­ment. Re­duc­ing foxes will ben­e­fit our sheep pro­duc­tion and help the sur­vival of the Plains-wanderers,’’ he said.

Mr O’Loughlin also says by join­ing the ‘Pad­docks for Plains-wanderers’ project, he now un­der­stands how his habi­tat pad­docks should look.

‘‘Ide­ally I’ll be aim­ing to keep those pad­docks with clumps of grasses and sparse shrubs that are a bit more densely cov­ered than other pad­docks, par­tic­u­larly in dry times. This suits the sheep as well,’’ he said.

Jock Camp­bell, man­ager of Par­away Pas­toral’s prop­erty Mun­gadal also signed up pad­docks to the pro­gram.

“It will give me in­creased ca­pac­ity for pest and weed con­trol to im­prove sus­tain­able land man­age­ment and help to con­serve Plains-wanderers”, he said.

Paul McDougall, the Land and En­vi­ron­ment Of­fi­cer for Par­away Pas­toral has added his sup­port to the project.

“Be­ing in­volved in the con­ser­va­tion of Plains-wanderers has given us a good news story to demon­strate our com­mit­ment to sus­tain­abil­ity and the triple bot­tom line”.

Plains-wan­derer project of­fi­cer Me­gan Purvis and Dar­ren O’Loughlin at ‘Cooin­bil’, Dar­ling­ton Point.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.