Wild deer cause massive damage across the Alps and many other forested parts of south eastern Australia. The Victorian Government has accepted most of the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into the Control of Invasive Animals on Crown Land. Significantly, the government has acknowledged that recreational hunting is generally an ineffective means of invasive animal control and announced that feral cats will be declared pest animals on public land, allowing more effective control programs.
As you may know, Hawkweeds are 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 have been summer field trips where volunteers join with Parks Victoria to identify and remove Hawkweed from the Bogong High Plains. They will be on again this summer and you can register now.
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.
Mountain Journal has previously reported on a plan to clear 1.8 hectares of Sub-alpine Woodland just adjacent to the Dinner Plain village to create an ‘Elite Training Facility’ (now called the ‘Village Green’).
The current proposal is to create a ‘large flat open grassed area approximately 90 m wide and 150 m long’. An access road and car parking along two sides of the grassed area are proposed, as well as public toilet facilities. A report prepared for Council describes it ‘as a community space (which) is large enough to facilitate sporting events such as polo, horse riding, and high altitude elite athlete training.’
Alpine Shire Council has committed to the delivery of $1,500,000 worth of capital works projects within Dinner Plain by 2027; and says that this will be funded by the Dinner Plain reserve (currently approximately $1,000,000) and additional funds as allocated by Council.
It now needs to decide whether to proceed with the proposal.
This is a worrying development. Research by the legendary Ken Green shows that rabbits are now moving into snowy mountainous areas by adapting to survive on snow gum leaves when there is limited availability of grass. These are generally toxic to most animals.
The following article by Alice Klein comes from New Scientist.
Many Mountain Journal readers will know that Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species which can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. Parks Victoria organises a series of Hawkweed surveys on the Bogong High Plains each year. If you love the Victorian Alps, the surveys are a great way to do something practical to support the ecological integrity of the mountains.
The following information comes from Parks Victoria:
Mountain Journal has often featured pieces on the issue of wild horses in the Australian High Country.
Public debate has hit a recent high point because both Victoria and NSW have updated their positions on horse management, with both states noting the significant negative environmental impacts of this introduced species.
The following article comes from The Conversation, and is by ecologist Don Driscoll who notes that while many in Australia hold a ‘cultural affiliation with horses’ there are other ways to celebrate this connection than ‘by having horses in fragile alpine ecosystems where they cause environmental damage’.
The Weekly Times reports that the Victorian government will give a major boost to aerial baiting in the state budget due later this month. It is not clear which areas will be focused on, but the Alpine National Park can be expected to be a key location given dog numbers, and statements by the minister that there will be baits laid in ‘hard to reach’ areas. In another land management development, the government has also announced it will work with the Australian Deer Association to cull deer.