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Victorian Volcanic Plains

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A biodiversity hotspot

The Victorian Volcanic Plains grasslands once covered 2.3 million hectares of southwest Victoria. Since European settlement the grasslands have been extensively cleared for agriculture and less than one percent remain.

The Victoria Volcanic Plains is one of 15 biodiversity hotspots in Australia that supports more than 25 nationally threatened flora and fauna and a number of endangered and vulnerable vegetation communities. The grasslands are of great significance for Aboriginal people.

Under threat

Key threats to the grasslands include clearing, inappropriate burning and grazing regimes, fertiliser application, urban development, fragmentation and climate change. Most of the high-quality grassland left in the Corangamite region is limited to small, isolated pockets on roadsides and rail reserves.

What we do

Since the mid-2000s we have worked with land managers and agencies to improve the management of nearly 10,000 hectares of threatened Victorian Volcanic Plains grasslands in the region through weed and pest animal control, fire and grazing management and community education.

Protecting the Victorian Volcanic Plains

This project has been run successfully for a number of years and aims to protect remnant habitat, species and communities in the Victorian Volcanic Plains through enhancement of remnant grassland reserves, cultural burning and a landholder stewardship program.

This project is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Plains Facts

The Corangamite Catchment Management Authority is a proud partner of the PlainsFacts Newsletter. This latest edition is brought to you by all of the Project Partners of the Protecting the Victorian Volcanic Plains project. We are thrilled to share with you the latest updates across the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Linear Reserves Project

The Linear Reserves Project commenced in 2014 and aims to enhance the condition and resilience of native grasslands on narrow strips of public land along roadside and rail reserves, through weed control and prescribed burning.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) manage the Linear Reserves Project with support from a wide range of stakeholders including the Country Fire Authority, Catchment Management Authorities, local government authorities, Regional Roads Victoria, rail authorities, and Traditional Owners.

This project is supported by the Glenelg Hopkins and Corangamite Catchment Management Authorities through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program.

Resources

Cultural burning

Cultural burning will be led by Wadawurrung Traditional Owners in conjunction with DELWP, Country Fire Authority and relevant agencies in Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands and Natural Temperate Grasslands on public and private land.

Summary

Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands Cultural Burning Program, supporting Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (WTOAC) to conduct cultural burns on public and private land. This project aims to improve the understanding of the use of cultural burning as a management tool in Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands and embed Traditional Owner practices into natural resource management. The program is a partnership between land managers and stakeholders including the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management Victoria, Golden Plains Shire Council, CFA and private landholders.

Highlights:

  • Completed 8.4 ha of cultural burning in two high value grassy eucalypt woodlands site lead by Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and supported by project partners.
  • Established a long term Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands Cultural Burning Monitoring Program to track the change in condition of grassy eucalypt woodlands under the use of cultural burning as a management tool. Undertaken by CCMA, DELWP and WTOAC, with training by Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research.

This project will run until 2023 and is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Grassy Eucalypt Woodlands Stewardship Project

This project will improve the condition, connectivity and extent of these critically endangered woodlands through the delivery of a private land stewardship program and improved management of public linear reserves.

This project will run until 2023 and is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Connecting landholders to biodiversity on the Victorian Volcanic Plain

This project is working to protect, enhance and restore over 1,000 hectares of threatened native grassland, grassy woodland and related habitats, with a focus on private land.

This project is funded by the Victorian Government through the Biodiversity 2037 initiative.

Resources