What is Landcare Fire Recovery?

Upper Goulburn Landcare Network
Since the devastating Black Saturday bushfires of Feb 2009, the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network has been working with landholders and local communities in the Murrindindi and Mitchell Shires to rebuild and rehabilitate the local environment on private property.
This blog presents some of the stories.
To find out more about our program or to volunteer with one of our projects contact Landcare Coordinator Chris Cobern on 5736 0104.
Or by email on ugrecovery@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Thursday, December 19, 2013

UGLN Nest Box Project (Part 2)

An important part of our nest box project is the monitoring, maintenance and record keeping of all nest boxes we've installed.
Emerald College students inspecting boxes at Marysville
Of the 475 nest boxes we've installed as part of this fire recovery project we annually monitor 373 often with the assistance of Scouts, TAFE and school students.
The other 102 boxes are monitored by the landowners who occasionally send me reports.
Yea HS students inspecting nest boxes at the Yea Wetlands
Recently we have been finding different native birds using the boxes including Eastern and Crimson Rosella's and the White-throated Treecreeper.
Eastern Rosella at Kinglake West
White-throated Treecreeper at Kinglake West

To check the nest boxes we use a nest box inspection camera which saves us lugging a ladder around the bush and is less intrusive to the animals inside the box.
Ringtail Possum at Yea Wetlands
Brush-tailed Possum at Yea Wetlands

Approximately 2/3rds of all our boxes have been used by wildlife including the following species:
Ringtail Possum, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Sugar Glider, Agile Antechinus, Brush-tailed Possum, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Rosella, White-throated Treecreeper and Owlet Nightjar.

Sugar Gliders at Strath Creek
The monitoring is also a good chance to remove any unwanted residents and carry out any maintenance that may be needed to the boxes. Over the last few years we have had 2 active bee hives which I have asked a local bee keeper to remove and so far only 2 nests of the introduced Indian Myna, which were removed and the contents provided a good meal for the local Kookaburra and Magpies.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

UGLN Nest Box Project

As usual November and December has been a busy time for our nest box project installing nest boxes with the Scouts and high school students.
Yea HS students at Limestone
With the help of teacher Ken Aitken and the Yea High School Junior Landcare Group we installed 24 boxes that the students built on properties in Limestone, Kinglake and Strath Creek.
Yea HS students at Strath Creek
With the Kinglake Scouts Junior Landcare Group we put up sugar glider nest boxes that the Scouts built on a property in Castella.
Kinglake Scouts at Castella
Emerald College students at Marysville

We've also had help from Emerald College who built many Feather-tail Glider boxes which we installed with the students along the Taggerty River in Marysville.
And a couple of the local primary schools have also been involved. Flowerdale PS students had an afternoon painting nesting boxes built by the Alexandra Cub-Scouts and we installed 6 nesting boxes at Buxton PS with great help from the kids.

So with another almost 50 boxes installed over the last couple of months this takes our total to 475 nest boxes built and installed by volunteers on properties throughout the Upper Goulburn region since 2010.
Stay tuned for the next post which will feature some of the exciting findings discovered recently as part of the monitoring component of this project.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Farm Chemical Users Course - Flowerdale

Over the 12 and 13 October landowners from Flowerdale, Kinglake and the surrounding district  attended a free Farm Chemical Users Course organised by Upper Goulburn Landcare Network (UGLN) with the assistance of the Flowerdale Community House and funded by VBAF.
Participants at the recent farm chemical users course
The recent course was held at the wonderful new facility at the Flowerdale Youth Space and as usual run by Goulburn Ovens TAFE lecturer and Kinglake resident Kevin Chandler.
Kevin demonstrating herbicide application techniques
Since 2010 UGLN have been running free Weed Identification and Control Workshops, 1080 baiting and Farm Chemical Users Courses throughout the fire affected areas of Murrindindi Shire.

The courses have also been held in Kinglake, Yea, Strath Creek and Marysville.
They have all been well attended with well over 300 people having benefited from the opportunity provided by UGLN and funded by the previous Federal Governments Çaring For Our Country' program.
Participants at last years course in the Kinglake Scout Hall
If anyone is interested in attending a Farm Chemical Users Course UGLN will be running another one on the 30/11 and 1/12 in Yea.

Phone 5736 0105 for more info.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Lorax Project 2013

Recently we have been busy with our Lorax Project along the Yea River and it's tributaries.

NAB volunteers at Murrindindi

JBWere volunteers at Break O Day Reserve
In late September a large team from NAB planted almost 700 plants at the Lawson property in Murrindindi and another team from JBWere helped plant and mulch over 225 plants at the Break 'O' Day Rd Reserve in Glenburn and then after a BBQ lunch we put in another 50+ at the nearby Alf Miller Park.
JBWere volunteers after a days planting at Alf Miller Park
On 24th October a group of TAFE students studying Conservation and Land Management planted 250 trees and shrubs on a section of the Katy's Creek at 'Graceburn' the farm of Sally and Tom Abbott-Smith who also provided a delicious BBQ lunch.
TAFE students at the Abbott-Smith farm in Glenburn
Our final Lorax Project planting for the year was on 29th October on the Yea River at Devlin's Bridge. Again the TAFE students returned to plant many trees and shrubs. After the planting it was back to Graceburn where Tom gave the enthusiastic students a tour of his free range chook and cattle farm.
TAFE students at Devlin's Bridge Glenburn
The Lorax Project has now come to the end of another very successful year.

This year over 500 volunteers from NAB, ANZ and JBWere and students from Yea High School, Flowerdale and Kinglake Primary Schools and many more planted over 10,000 plants on farms and properties from Strath Creek and Kinglake across the Upper Goulburn region to Marysville and Buxton.

If you are interested in volunteering with our Lorax Project in 2014 or a landowner thinking about revegetating a section of your property contact UGLN Landcare Coordinator Chris Cobern on 5736 0104.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Marysville Tree Planting

Our Lorax Project has been busy in the Marysville area lately.
Recently with the help of students from Kilberry Valley Primary School we planted many trees and tall shrubs at Camp Marysville to provide shade and shelter.
Students from Kilberry Valley Primary School
We also created a bush tucker garden using shrubs and smaller native herbs and lilies.
The plants are indigenous food plants that were used by aboriginal people in the area such as Mountain Pepper, Native Raspberry, Dianella sp. and Prickly Current Bush.
Students from Kilberry Valley Primary School
We also had a very enthusiastic team from NAB spend a day planting trees and shrubs along the Taggerty River.
Volunteers from NAB at the Taggerty River
The plantings will help create an important corridor through farmland for wildlife moving along the river between the east and west sections of the Marysville State Forest.
It will also provide protection from wind and sun for stock on the neighbouring cattle farm.

Thank you to Fifteen Trees and there supporters for providing the funding for some of the plants.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Alexandra Cubs Nest Box Project

We recently had night with the Alexandra Cub-Scouts building nest boxes for small native mammals including Sugar Gliders, Brush-tailed Phascogales and Agile Antechinus.
Alexandra Cubs with Cub leader Jude.
The Cubs did a great job and built 12 nest boxes which we will install on trees in the nearby McKenzie Reserve in Spring.
Alexandra Cubs showing good carpentry skills.
The boxes will provide much needed nesting sites for our small arboreal mammals.
This important activity also helps the Cubs to earn their Landcare award.
Alexandra Cubs with Kinglake Venturer Sam
Thank you to Cub leaders Jude and Beck for their assistance and also the Kinglake and Alexandra Venturers who helped the Cubs with their carpentry skills.

Friday, August 2, 2013

National Tree Day

UGLN and the Kinglake Landcare Group hosted two National Tree Day activities at the Koala Browse Reserve in Kinglake.
On Friday 26th July 50 students and teachers helped to plant almost 400 plants in only a few short hours and on Sunday 28th July a small band of dedicated volunteers in windy and cold conditions helped plant a further 240 plants.
Kinglake Scouts Hayley and Tristan on National Tree Day
This site was important because it is an area that was devastated by the 2009 fires.
The aim was to revegetate the area to increase biodiversity and provide habitat for wildlife including the Greater Glider and Long-nosed Bandicoot that live in the adjacent Number Two Creek Reserve.
Kinglake Primary School students.
Kinglake PS students on National Schools Tree Day

We would like to thank 15Trees for helping to provide the trees for this important project.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Lorax Project starts back for 2013

On the 3oth May, Corporate volunteers from JBWere and National Australia Bank descended on the property of Rick and Claire Clark, Wildlfe carers and members of the King Parrot Creek Environment Group. Other members of the group; David, Laurie, Steve and Heather also assisted on the day.
JBWere and NAB volunteers 
We planted 480 native trees, shrubs and ground covers into a narrow gully to provide good cover for local fauna using the gully as a link to the remnant vegetation along the top of the ridge.
Revegetated gully at the Clark property
On 31st May we had a return by one of our ANZ teams for the 4th consecutive year. This year the dedicated bunch helped plant 350 trees and shrubs on a hillside at Paul and Denise Webster's property in Murrindindi. The Webster's treated us all to a great lunch of roast beef rolls and salad which everyone appreciated.
ANZ volunteers at Murrindindi
And just over the hills at Limestone on 26th May another NAB team put in a great effort to plant out a fenced off gully at the property of Judy Brookes with 320 indigenous plants. These plants will help to halt the erosion in the gully and also eventually provide a wildlife corridor linking the remnant vegetation on the Brookes farm with the Black Ranges in the east and the Yea River in the west.

Planting site at the Brookes property
NAB volunteers at Limestone

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Long-nosed Bandicoot update - Glenburn

Long-nosed Bandicoot (LNB) numbers seem to have increased since the 2009 fires along the Stony Creek at Kinglake West, along the King Parrot Creek down to Hazeldene and at Toolangi.
The thick regrowth of native vegetation has probably favoured the bandicoots and provided protection from predators such as foxes and cats.
Our fauna monitoring with remote sensor cameras in these areas has turned up many photographs of the usually secretive creatures.
Long-nosed Bandicoot at Glenburn
Long-nosed Bandicoot at Glenburn


Recently after noticing diggings and other possible signs on a property in Glenburn we set up our cameras and were rewarded by these photographs of Long-nosed Bandicoots.

This site is on private land along a tributry of Katy's Creek in an area of native riparian vegetation. The area has been fenced off by the landowner to protect it from their cattle and to encourage natural regeneration. This has certainly paid off because as well as the bandicoot's we also photographed Swamp Wallabies, Bush Rats, Wombats, Brush-tail Possums and birds including the shy Bassian Thrush.
This map shows the locations where we have recorded LNB's throughout the Kinglake Ranges over the last two years.
Map showing locations of Long-nosed Bandicoots observations by UGLN
If you see a bandicoot or possible evidence please let us know by phoning 5736 0104 or email ugrecovery@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Greater Glider recovery project

Thanks to funding provided by Landcare Australia the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network has been able to provide alternative nesting sites for the Greater Gliders living along the Number Two and Number One Creeks at Kinglake.
Kinglake Rover Sam helping to install the nest boxes.

The Greater Glider Petauroides volans

Twelve specially built nest boxes were purchased from Latrobe Wildlife Sanctuary and installed in the creek reserves amongst the tall Mountain Ash forest.

Greater Glider habitat along the Number Two Creek.
These areas were burnt in the 2009 fires, and while they are regenerating very well many of the large old habitat trees containing hollows that the Greater Gliders used were destroyed.
During spotlighting as part of a fauna survey along the Number Two Creek in November 2011 members of the Kinglake Landcare Group were lucky to observe a Greater Glider gliding from tree to tree. Since then more have also been observed at the nearby Kinglake East Flora Reserve.
Kinglake Rover Karly with two of the nest boxes.
The project has been well assisted by Rover Scouts from the Kinglake Scouts Junior Landcare Group who helped with the installation of the boxes.

Chris Cobern

Friday, March 15, 2013

California Conservation Corps

Volunteers from the California Conservation Corps (CCC) are currently in Australia on an 8 week exchange project with Conservation Volunteers Australia.

The have been working in South Australia and Victoria carrying out erosion and salinity control, seed collection, construction and maintenance of walking tracks, endangered flora and fauna surveys and monitoring.

During their time in Victoria the CCC spent a couple of days removing Blackberry, Broom and Tutsan from the Number Two Creek Reserve in Kinglake and helped with site preparation for a Kinglake Landcare/UGLN national tree day planting proposed for the nearby Koala Browse site.
Volunteers from the CCC at the Koala Browse site.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fencers Without Boundaries winds up

After another very successful year the UGLN fire recovery fencing program 'Fencers Without Boundaries' (FWB) has finally come to an end.
SA Rotary volunteers fencing at Kinglake (2011)

Victorian Mobile Landcare Group (2010)
FWB stalwarts John Belfio and Alan Stafford at Sunday Creek (2011)

Fire affected landowners provided the fencing materials and UGLN provided the volunteer labour. For over three years volunteers with our fencing program contributed 3580 days to rebuild 246 KM of new fencing and remove 87.3 KM of burnt and damaged fencing on properties throughout Murrindindi and Mitchell Shires. 

Fencing off a wetland at Glenburn with CVA volunteers (2012)
Benalla High School students with
Uniting Church volunteers (2010)

International Bible Study volunteers with Alan helping to
fence off  the Spring Creek at Flowerdale (2012)
Funded by the Federal Governments 'Caring for our Country' and the 'Recycling for Recovery'
program, we were able to put tens of thousands of dollars back into the local community and small business' by sourcing local hotel and bunkhouse accommodation, catering and meals for our hardworking volunteers, quality tools and hardware from local suppliers, safety wear and PPE, the list goes on.

Four Wheel drivers Marg, Geoff, Fred, Mitch and Ron. (2010)
We sourced volunteers from many areas and have been well supported by the Uniting Church, 4WD Clubs of Victoria, SA Rotary, Green Corp, Victorian Mobile Landcare Group, Benalla Secondary College, Hughes Creek Catchment Collaborative, Marcellin College, Conservation Volunteers Australia and International Bible Study Group Australia. As well as many corporate groups including NAB, ANZ, Earnst and Young, GPT Group, CPA and Cadbury.

NAB fencing at Kilmore East (2011)
ANZ volunteers removing burnt fences (2010)

Special mention must also go to the following individuals for the many, many days they volunteered towards our project: Alan Stafford, John Belfio, Neil Ireland, Lance Morrisby, Alan Diak, Tom Maddern, Chris Renwick, Rev. David Howie, all the Shepparton boys including Howard, Peter, Don, John E and John C, 4W drivers Geoff, Ron, Fred, Marg and Mitch, SA Rotarians Tony, Jannine, Brian, Kevin and Shirley and very sadly the late Glen Clement.
Shepparton boys having a break for lunch (2010)
Fencing volunteers and landowners at a 2011 get together.
In 2012 our priority was for fencing to protect native habitats such as waterways, native vegetation and revegetation sites. We built 31.8 KM of fencing on private land to protect riparian areas along the King Parrot, Spring, Mountain and Stony Creeks and also to protect over 20 hectares of remnant vegetation across the Kinglake Ranges.

Our equipment and volunteers are still being put to good use helping the Strath Creek Landcare Group with the fencing component of there biodiversity project.

Kevin Roberts (SA Rotary), Alan Stafford (Uniting Church) and Chris Cobern (UGLN)