Hawkweed is a highly invasive pest plant species which could cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. For several years there has been an annual volunteer program held on the Bogong High Plains. Volunteer recruitment for the 2018/2019 season of the Falls Creek Hawkweed Eradication Program Volunteer Surveys is now open.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.