Grant from Communities for nature. $10,000
2014 - 2015
Increase habitat for wildlife leading to greater biodiversity
Model best practice farm dam wildlife establishment in a range of systems
Encourage landholders to make changes to their management practices around farm dams
Provide education and engagement activities to encourage uptake.
Farm Dams are an underutilised resource and can be used for wildlife habitat if a few management changes are made. The project will assist farmers to investigate those changes and how they could be implemented across a variety of EVCs and agricultural land uses.
Sterile farm dams are located across the local area. With some changes such as logs, plantings and high water overflow wetland areas, the dams can become habitat for various birds, frogs, reptiles and invertebrates. There is a desire to make dams more wildlife friendly but not much action is happening on the ground. This project will trial some techniques for making farm dams wildlife friendly and showcases these techniques to the local community. It will draw from existing good examples and will pick a range of rainfall, geography and land use types.
The project will provide support in the form of information and expertise from water authorities and government agencies, as well as resources such as plants to at least four dam sites of different geography, EVCs and land use. The project will host field days/farm walks (4 events) and provide support for peer mentoring so that other land holders can learn about dams for wildlife.
Works will be carried out by volunteers and landholders including Landcare groups, Yarram Secondary School, VET students, Mirradong disability services. Landholders will be expected to conduct weed control, stock exclusion, log replacement, revegetation, etc. where applicable.
Monitoring will be conducted on site to determine species mix and project success.
This project will leave the local landscape with wildlife habitat pockets that link larger remnant wetlands. It will provide habitat for threatens species such as the freckled duck. The farm dams generally remain wet for longer than natural wetland overflow areas in time of drought so the dams can act as refuges. Increased plantings lead to better quality water as the plants act as sediment and nutrient traps. Healthy ecosystems around farm dams will also reduce the chance of weed and pest animal invasion.
Landholders will have to sign up to a farm dam management plan to participate in the project. This will obligate them to maintain the site for at least 3 years beyond the life of the project. The community engagement activities such as peer mentoring and field days will increase the learning of the core participants to their neighbours and other interested parties leading to more farm dams being transformed.