Looking At Landcare 15/4/2016

I mentioned that I would provide some information on our wonderful speaker that will be presenting our Seed Collection Workshops on 28 and 29 April in Parkes. Here it is…

Mikla Lewis is one of Central NSW’s leading advocates for threatened species. Based in the Weddin Shire, she and her partner Wayne Lavers purchased the property, Rosemont in 2002 on the outskirts of Grenfell and have been demonstrating how both commercial farming and biodiversity protection can exist in partnership on rural properties and how farmers can negotiate a range of support programs.

In 2005 they started the Weddin-Lachlan Branch of WIRES (Wildlife Information and Rescue Service). Since purchasing their property they’ve recorded 90 species of birds, including ten species of raptor, as well as the superb parrot and grey-crowned babbler, both of which are threatened. Nine mammal species have been observed on the property including the echidna, yellow-footed antechinus, eastern grey kangaroo, red-necked wallaby and swamp wallaby, and fourteen reptile species including the long-necked tortoise, brown snake, lace monitor, bearded dragon, and numerous skinks and snake-lizards.

The property straddles a ridge of bushland dominated by Mugga Ironbark, Red Stringybark and Cypress Pine. The foot slopes are scattered with Grey and White Box, Currawang, Varnish Wattle and Peach Heath, while below lies cleared pastoral land and some remnant White Box Yellow Box Blakely’s Red Gum Woodland, an Endangered Ecological Community.

The removal of livestock from the hills and foot slopes saw the regeneration of trees, shrubs, grasses and forbs (herbaceous flowering plants), while the additional planting of over 4,000 endemic trees and shrubs has further improved the quality of the landscape. There are now about 170 species of native plants growing on Rosemont.

Mikla and Wayne have made many adaptations in their property including removal of many barbed wire fencing structures. Other features designed to improve wildlife habitat include a constructed island in their largest dam, nest boxes, and the placing of logs and branches amongst the new plantings, which double up as protection for the young plants.

As WIRES members they care for and release native animals on Rosemont. They have taken out a Voluntary Conservation Agreement with National Parks and Wildlife, which means that their private property will now be included in the National Reserve System.

The Conservation Partners Program supports landholders in voluntarily protecting and managing native vegetation, wildlife habitat, geological features, historic heritage and Aboriginal cultural heritage on their properties.

If you are interested in attending the seed collection workshop or any other opportunities, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 6862 4914 or go to our website at centralwestlachlanlandcare.org

Until next week, happy Landcaring!