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Who’s been nibbling my plants ?

July 10, 2015

IMG_0039The Strath Creek Landcare Group, in partnership with the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, has been progressively fencing off and planting out sections of the King Parrot Creek in order to create a revegetated riparian strip protected from livestock. We have found that many of the plants have been continually nipped off when they emerge above their plastic guards, which are proving effective only against rabbits and hares.
 
We had a couple of suspects in mind, but to collect hard evidence we set up a remote camera in one of the planting sites. Over a two-week period we recorded hundreds of images of Common Wombats, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Red Foxes, all of which completely ignored the guards and plants. But a few shots caught at least one of the culprits in action – a Black Wallaby. The only real surprise was the lack of any deer among the pictures, as Sambar and Fallow Deer are known to be in the area, particularly in nearby Coonans Reserve.
 
The regular browsing of the plants presents quite a challenge. In an attempt to better protect the more vulnerable plants, some guards are being doubled up on longer stakes, and we also plan to trial taller guards on this year’s plantings. The disadvantage of these measures is that in some cases it can result in spindly weak plants when the guards are eventually removed.
Maybe all we can do is hope for good spring rains to produce a rapid flush of growth that the wallabies (and deer) can’t keep up with. Unfortunately an unlikely prospect in this El Nino year!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 10, 2015 12:25 pm

    Naughty wallabies.

    Kate Hawkins

    Twofoot Consulting Group PL Scientific writing and editing m: 0438 338 050

    Sent by iPhone

    >

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