Seeding for our future

LISA MORRISONAlbany Advertiser

A seeding and planting blitz at one of the most critical habitat gaps in the 1000km Gondwana Link bush corridor kicked off in late July.

The long-planned ecological restoration at Monjebup Reserve, located between Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River national parks 100km east of Albany, will transform cleared farmland back to a native ecosystem.

More than 15,000 seedlings and 60kg of seeds are expected to re-establish the 140ha former cereal crop and sheep farm, as part of a broader plan to restore 400ha of cleared paddocks by 2015.

Bush Heritage Gondwana Link landscape manager Simon Smale said the restoration would provide vital habitat for threatened species, including malleefowl, Carnaby’s cockatoo, and black-gloved and tammar wallabies.

Mr Smale said the project would also support other local fauna, such as honey and western pygmy possums by reconnecting fragmented landscape between the national parks.

“Our plan is to repair years of environmental damage, and protect threatened flora and fauna by replicating natural ecosystems to be of maximum value to wildlife,” he said.

Ecologist Angela Sanders has studied plant and animal species in Gondwana Link for the past seven years and said monitoring sites were used to indicate which animals were returning to a section of recreated bushland at Corcackerup Reserve, 12 months on from planting.

“Because most of the Wheatbelt and cereal growing area has been cleared, there is very little left for the fauna … we are trying to give them a bit more space to live in and link up what was formerly connected so they have room to move in the face of climate change,” she said.

“I’ve done lots of survey work from Albany to Ravensthorpe and know the animals that live in that bushland.

“It is great to see the species returning.”

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