Restoring habitat for threatened species in Kinglake National Park, Vic

The devastating fires of February 2009 engulfed 98% of Kinglake National Park, Vic, and killed a great many animal species that called it home.

The Brush Tailed Phascogale, a threatened species in Victoria, is one of those species, and post-fire surveys found no evidence of the small marsupial within the park. Further surveys conducted in unburnt areas found the nocturnal marsupial to be present in the nearby Warrandyte State Park. With these results, Parks Victoria planned to return the Phascogale, as well as other fauna populations effected by the fires, back into Kinglake National Park through use of a wildlife corridor. This involved revegetating strategic areas of former grazing land and laying down logs (essential Phascogale habitat), to connect the unburnt areas with Kinglake National Park.

Greenfleet was called upon to manage the revegetation aspect of this project, planting a species-rich mix of trees, shrubs and grasses that would restore conditions favoured by the Phascogale, as well as other species such as the Common Dunnart (which is no longer as common as the name suggests). In 2010 and 2011, Greenfleet resforested over 25 ha with the help of the community.

“This planting will create a corridor of continuous vegetation and we have been able to collect trees felled because of the fires and relocate them here to make a more natural habitat for the animals.” Tony Fitzgerald, Parks Victoria Ranger, said in 2010.

In 2012, some specimens of the Brush Tailed Phascogale (Phascogaletapoatafa) were discovered within the park for the first time since the bush fires. This provided excellent encouragement for the project. In July 2013 Parks Victoria's rangers surveyed 28 nest boxes placed in the Habitat Link and found 24 of them being utilised by animals this year. Several nests were of the endangered Brush-tailed Phascogale, while others had live nests of the more common Sugar Glider. 

In 2015, more photos were taken of a Phascogale foraging around the revegetated area.  It's a wonderful sight, proof of the great success of this revegetation project.

What’s more, the forest is now a spectacular regeneration showcase.

The trees are now five metres tall and we are removing fences that were erected to exclude kangaroos, wallabies and deer, because the regeneration has been so successful the trees are out of the danger period,” Tony explains.

Parks Victoria has plans to introduce a walking track into the park so that the community can appreciate the result of their hard work.

Working with Greenfleet was a happy partnership that has delivered real results for the environment and the community,” Tony concludes.

These excellent results highlight the need for native habitat link to help protect and restore threatened species, such as the Phascogale.

 

>> Click here for more information and pictures of our revegetation project at the Watson's Creek Habitat Link in the Kinglake National Park, Vic.

Photo of sign at the entrance of Parks Victoria's Watson's Creek Habitat Link
Photo of a Phascogale Nest at Kinglake National Park, VIC
Photo of a Phascogale nest - © Chris White

Photo of a sugar glider nest © Chris White
Photo of an occupied Sugar Glider nest - © Chris White

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