Restoring Mallacoota’s Nature Reserves for Wildlife and Community Recovery

Safeguarding the recovery of bushfire-affected coastal scrub and lowland forest.

Customer:

East Gippsland Shire Council

Partner/s: Local Government

Service Classification/s:

Location:

Far East Gippsland, Mallacoota, VIC

Project Requirement & Objectives:

This project aimed to safeguard the recovery of 127ha of bushfire-affected coastal scrub and lowland forest, including an endangered remnant littoral rainforest, in an Important Bird Area in Mallacoota District, to be achieved through:

  1. Surveys and mapping of invasive weeds and native vegetation recovery;
  2. Controlling invasive weeds;
  3. Preventing erosion to protect waterways and facilitate vegetation re-establishment;
  4. Seed collection for the community seedbank and nursery; and,
  5. Engaging the local community in planting native vegetation as well as feeding back project outcomes and future management recommendations.

Methodology / Overview of works:

  1. Baseline habitat assessments and restoration plan;
  2. Control invasive weeds inhibiting native vegetation recovery using different control measures suitable for the weed type and location. 44 species of invasive weeds were identified during initial small-scale surveys by Friends of Mallacoota, a grassroots community group and partner in this project.
  3. Erosion prevention measures were implemented along an estimated 1km of cliff frontage through a combination of planting early-successional vegetation and installing natural barriers made from logs and other bio-degradable materials.
  4. Seed collection for the community seedbank and nursery.
  5. Engaging the local community in flora and fauna recovery.
  6. Final assessment and management recommendations to guide future restoration.

Results:

  1. Safeguarded recovery of native vegetation across 127.4ha of coastal scrub, lowland and endangered littoral rainforest forest through elimination of competition by invasive post-re weeds;
  2. 1km of coastline plus over 3km of estuarine water frontage protected from erosion caused by 2019/20 bushfres through measures to enhance soil stability and re-colonisation of early-successional vegetation;
  3. Strengthened and empowered community better equipped to manage native flora and fauna recovery post-bushfires.