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Today is the best pozible day to support threatened species

For every dollar you donate today to SOLN’s threatened species conservation work, the State Government of Victoria will match it. This is an initiative of the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning and the crowdfunding platform Pozible. Five projects have been selected to feature in the Threatened Species Initiative collection and our Landcare is Critical campaign is one of them.


The short story

Some of you are just going to want the short story, so here it is. You have until December 15 to pledge money to support our habitat and wildlife conservation and programme, and you do that by going here:


If you don’t know the crowdfunding drill, you can select a reward or just make a donation. If we raise our target of $10,000 the money gets taken from your account at that point, the State Government kicks in another $10,000 and we’ve raised $20,000 that is critical to our ability to deliver our programme. If we don’t make the $10,000 the campaign fails and the money stays in your account.It’s an all or nothing deal.

Other things you can do to help include sharing our campaign with your friends. Donating early helps to encourage more donations as people are more likely to support campaigns that look like they might succeed.

You can also drop into our Christmas Party this Wednesday the 2nd of December at the Mechanics Institute in Apollo Bay to see the results of our monitoring programme, hear some great young musicians, have a feed and make a donation.

The long story

The long story lies in what we plan to do with your money. People have been doing Landcare in the Southern Otways since the mid 1980s. Over this period we’ve been learning a lot about how to restore and enhance vegetation in the region and we know now that some of our early plantings need work to improve their habitat value.

This spring we’ve been working in four Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) – Wet Forest, Riparian Forest, Shrubby Foothill Forest and Damp Sands Herb Rich Woodland. We’ve just received a grant to expand this into Shrubby Wet Forest and Coastal Headland Scrub in 2016 and will use the crowdfunding money to add more EVCs to the list. We’ve chosen a reference forest (a good quality piece of remnant vegetation) and a Landcare Planting in each EVC.

A permanent 20 x 20m monitoring plot is set up at each site and the first step is to undertake a Habitat Hectares assessment. Habitat Hectares is a tool developed by the Victorian Government to assess the quality of vegetation. We compare the Habitat Hectares score between the reference forest and the Landcare site. Landcare plantings have a consistently low Habitat Hectares score and so the next step is to determine what we can do to improve it. We do this using a tool that we developed ourselves called the Forest Profile by Rapid Assessment, which helps generate a set of management actions. These actions may include ecological thinning, enhancement planting and cool burns. When we visit the sites we also set up 4 wildlife cameras so that we can start to see the relationship between habitat quality and the animals that live there. This data is collected and analysed using protocols developed by our research partner the Conservation Ecology Centre.

Vegetation on each site will be fully assessed every five years, and photopoint and fauna monitoring undertaken annually. In the meantime, we’ll be trialing management actions designed to improve the quality of Landcare plantings. The process will also allow us to start tracking changes in our reference forests, which will be particularly interesting as the climate changes. This programme is being guided by highly knowledgeable members of our community and we extend an open invitation to everyone interested in this work.

(We won’t be able to keep going without funding, however, so don’t forget to donate if you like what we’re doing).                                   

~ by SOLN on November 27, 2015 .

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