Regenerating the dunes » Landcarer

Greening Taylors Lakes and Surrounds (Lions Club Branch)
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Globally, declining soil quality due to soil degradation is of great concern, and directly affects crop production, soil health and sustainability of natural resources. In conventional farming practic...View More
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Malcolm Wells
by Published on May 19, 2021

#LandcareStoryContest

Capricorn Coast Landcare Group has been regenerating the Farnborough Beach dunes at Yeppoon for 2½ years now. The work commenced when we obtained our first grant through the Fitzroy Basin Association to weed and regenerate a section adjacent to a popular caravan park, with the blessing and support of Livingstone Shire Council. The area, from the caravan park fence to beach entrance FB9, was choked with weed grasses, annuals and vines, and we worked in what I like to call a crop circle method; involving clearing around existing native plants first, and then expanding the clearing as the native vegetation begins to regenerate. We de-seeded weed Guinea Grass, bagged the seed and left the rest of the plants to mulch the areas worked. As the work progressed, we noticed an increase in the native bird species present. We received encouragement and support from residents and tourists alike, as dog walkers, joggers, beachgoers and local homeowners stopped to chat. When the first project was finished after a year, we were given another grant to carry on the regeneration to the next section between beach entrance FB9 and FB10. Another year on and we have a further grant that enable us to embark on a generous 3 year project that has seen us start work between FB10 and FB11. As a former owner of a bush regeneration company, I have always been reluctant to undertake any regeneration or revegetation work where there was no provision for follow up work; and we always ensure that all sites stay on our work roster for ongoing maintenance after funding has been exhausted. Before the commencement of work on any site I take a series of photos from fixed photo points, to enable us to monitor the changes. I also conduct monthly bird counts on 3 of our regular sites on behalf of Birdlife Capricornia, which also enables me to monitor the success of our sites in improving habitat and providing wildlife corridors through our suburban areas. Last breeding season we had 8 pairs of Rainbow Bee-eaters in our dunes, where previously I had noted only 2 pairs. We also have also seen Kookaburras raising babies in an old termite nest. The number of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos has also increased from just small groups of 2 or 3, to flocks of up to 20 or 30. We have Brush Turkeys, Fairy Wrens, Figbirds, Forest Kingfishers, Galahs, Olive-backed Sunbirds and various Honeyeaters. Keeping written and photographic records of sites is not only useful for measuring our success, but also give volunteers a boost, and a pride in knowing they are making a difference. We also share before and after photos, as well as bird photos, on our Facebook site to keep people informed as to what we are doing.

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