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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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ecological restoration

Bringing the Mountain Pygmy Possum back from the brink

The Mountain Pygmy Possum (MPP) is Australia’s only hibernating marsupial. It has been declared by the IUCN Redlist as being Critically endangered. In 2000, the population estimate was less than 2,000 individuals from the three combined isolated populations that exist across the Australian Alps.

A number of ski resorts have been running possum recovery programs. They are delivering some excellent results and represent true good news stories for this critically endangered species.

Georgina Boardman is the Technical Services and Environment Officer at the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, where she and the rest of the Environmental Team work to protect the Mountain Pygmy Possum population on the mountain.

You can read about her story and work to protect the possum here.

English Broom volunteer weekend

Parks Victoria is organising a weekend working bee near Omeo to tackle the invasive English Broom, through helping to release biocontrol agents (beetles and mites). It will happen over the weekend of 24th – 26th November.

Continue reading “English Broom volunteer weekend”

Fears over Snowy River’s health without independent monitor

The Snowy Mountains scheme, built between 1949 and 1974, diverts the water of the Snowy River and some of its tributaries, much of which originally flowed southeast onto the river flats of East Gippsland, inland to the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers irrigation areas. This has caused the health of the Snowy to decline dramatically.

Following long running campaigns, the Snowy Water Inquiry was established in January 1998. The Inquiry recommended an increase to 15% of natural flows. In 2000, Victoria and NSW agreed to a long-term target of 28%, requiring A$375 million of investment to offset losses to inland irrigators. It has been hoped that this increase in flow will help the health of the river system improve.

However there have been ongoing fears that the flows are not being properly managed in a way that will maximise environmental benefits. In 2013, the NSW Government abolished the Snowy’s scientific monitor and a replacement body, announced in 2014, has not yet been established. As pointed out recently by ecologists, without an independent monitor, there is a risk that the health of the river will go backwards.

Continue reading “Fears over Snowy River’s health without independent monitor”

Alpine Ecology Course 2017

The Research Centre for Applied Alpine Ecology is pleased to announce details of its 2017 Alpine Ecology Course.  This is an exciting opportunity to learn about the plants, animals, land-forms and soils that make up alpine ecosystems. The course is designed for people who are involved in natural resource management or conservation activities in alpine and other natural environments.

It will be held on the Bogong High Plains from the 5th – 10th February 2017.

Further information available here.

Restoring the West Kiewa

The following report outlines the excellent weed removal and restoration of indigenous species which has been happening along the West Kiewa River in the section above and around Mt Beauty in north east Victoria.

It comes from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Continue reading “Restoring the West Kiewa”

Ecological restoration in the NSW Alps

Mountain Journal has previously profiled Elizabeth MacPhee, who has been working to restore damaged sections of the NSW Alps since 1990.

She has worked to restore ski runs, walking tracks, grazing damage, post fire repair and damage from hydro electric schemes.

Continue reading “Ecological restoration in the NSW Alps”

Decade-long effort begins to replace Eucalyptus tree “graveyard” on Monaro Plains

Mountain Journal has previously reported on the extensive dieback of eucalypts that has happened across much of the Monaro Plains in southern NSW. Previous reports have suggested that the dieback is related to climate change.

This article is from the ABC, and the reporter is Alice Matthews

Continue reading “Decade-long effort begins to replace Eucalyptus tree “graveyard” on Monaro Plains”

Join the 2015/2016 Falls Creek Hawkweed Volunteer Program

Native to Europe, Hawkweeds have recently become naturalised on mainland Australia.

Hawkweeds are highly invasive and spread quickly via runners and roots, forming dense mats inhibiting and outcompeting native vegetation. They can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas, and are considered a significant threat to the Victorian Alps if not eradicated early.

Participating in volunteer surveys is a great way to help protect the Victorian Alps from this dangerous weed, as well as a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the magnificent alpine environment during the green summer months.

Continue reading “Join the 2015/2016 Falls Creek Hawkweed Volunteer Program”

Campaign to drain and restore Lake Pedder gains momentum

The following comes from the ABC (journalist is Rosemary Bolger). It chronicles the latest stage in the decades long campaign to have the dam waters above Lake Pedder in south west Tasmania drained so that the original lake and ecosystem can be restored.

Check here for details on the campaign to have the lake restored.

A long-running campaign to drain Lake Pedder and return the natural jewel of Tasmania’s south-west to its former glory is ramping up again.

Despite opposition from a small group of environmentalists, the lake’s still waters were swallowed up in 1972 by a massive inland sea created to supply the Gordon Power Station.

Harnessing the power of the green movement that emerged from the failed campaign, protesters went on to wage one of the biggest environmental fights in Australia to block the damming of the Franklin River.

Continue reading “Campaign to drain and restore Lake Pedder gains momentum”

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