Binginwarri Landcare Group
Binginwarri Biodiversity Project (BBP)
Binginwarri Landcare Group
Binginwarri Biodiversity Project (BBP)
In the year 2011 Landcare celebrated its 25th anniversary. As part of this celebration groups within the Landcare organisation were offered the availability of grants to undertake a specific project to celebrate the anniversary. The Binginwarri group decided to undertake a biodiversity study into the flora and fauna of our area which we consider to be quite diverse for such a limited area. We applied for and were successful in obtaining a grant to commence the undertaking of this project.
We have titled the project the Binginwarri Biodiversity Project (BBP).
Now this may sound like a very technical title and a very technical subject. This is not the case. The project is basically about identifying plants and fauna in our area and at the same time learning a little about these plants and fauna and the area in which they exist. It only needs to be as technical as each member wishes to make it. So please do not be put off by the title or the contents below. It is designed to be fun as well as educational for everyone.
The definition of Biodiversity can be as simple or complex as one requires, so let’s keep it simple. Biodiversity is the diversity of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole).
What’s it all about
The following is a brief explanation of what the project is about and how it is to work.
The project can be considered in 2 sections.
1. Plant identification and EVC establishment
2. Fauna identification and distribution.
Plant Identification and EVC establishment
Why, How, Who
Why identify the plants in our region?
In order for the area to be maintained and re-vegetated it is important that we understand the biodiversity of the area we live in. The indigenous biodiversity has been established over thousands of years by nature to suit the climate, soil conditions, geographical aspect, etc. of the area and hence the plants which are indigenous to the area are the best indicators as to what makes a healthy area and so it is important that we learn to recognise what these plants are so that we can maintain these plants and re-vegetate the area with the same species of plants in order to maintain the correct balance of biodiversity in the area. That is let us use nature as our indicator rather than guessing what plants to plant in the area and chance that they may or may not grow and may or may not fit into our biodiversity.
We see this aspect of the project as an educational tool for members by increasing general education about plant identification in the area for all those who wish to be involved.
Why identify all plants?
By identifying all the plants in the area allows the exotic (non indigenous) plants to be identified as well as the indigenous plants which in return allows removal of these exotics and prevention of planting of these exotics to help maintain the correct biodiversity.
It is proposed that via group outings and individual member sessions plants will be identified in selected areas. Plants to be identified shall include native trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses and shall include exotic plants found in the area. The information collected shall be listed on field sheets along with photographs of the plant and then transferred to a database so that we can maintain a centralised record of our findings. Photographing the plant is important in allowing plant identification away from the site and to give other members a visual account of the plant. For those members who do not have a camera we have purchased a camera for members use on this project.
Anyone can join in the project. You do not need to be a botanist or even be able to identify one species of plant. There are people in the group and resources available outside the group who can assist in identify the plants in the area. But by joining in you will be able to learn how to identify plants and learn the identity of the plants in the area.
Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) is the term used for identifying an area based upon the types and species of plants found in that area. The EVC’s are the basic mapping units used for biodiversity planning and conservation assessment by the DSE throughout Victoria.
This is a simplified explanation of an EVC. There are many other factors such as plant formation, density, soil conditions, geographical aspects, etc. which are also used in establishing the EVC for an area.
For those interested in further information on EVC’s visit the DSE website www.dse.vic.gov.au/.../ecological-vegetation-class and follow the link to EVC.
The DSE have allocated EVC’s to our area however due to limited resources have only been able to do this on a broad scale basis. We aim to break the Binginwarri area into smaller scale areas to reflect a more accurate indication of the area EVC’s.
EVC’s shall be allocated based upon the field results mentioned above. This allocation will be made by either members in the group or utilising persons briefed in EVC allocation from outside the group as the need dictates.
This may all sound rather technical but again it is an educational tool which members can choose to be involved in or not.
Fauna Identification and Distribution.
In this aspect of the project we aim to identify the types of fauna which live in our area including defining the areas they habit and the density of population in that area.
A lot of this can be done by day to day observation by individual members. It can also be done during group outings such as Walk, Talk and Gawk outings and our bird day outings.
For night sightings and to record the less obvious fauna we have purchased 4 motion sensor cameras. These cameras will trigger when they sense motion in front of them and are also capable of taking photographs in the dark.
The cameras can be set up at suitable locations to record activities of fauna, particularly those which are nocturnal or not usually observed when humans are present. We will hopefully find animals which we do not know are or rarely seen in the area.
They can also be used to monitor particular aspects such as;
From these findings we can establish a database of;
This information along with the plant distribution in the area can be used to assist in maintaining areas for our indigenous fauna and by continual monitoring over a period of years will show any trend in changes to fauna population and habit. This will allow necessary action to be instigated to ensure the continuance of a balanced biodiversity in our area.
Although the grant issued was for a 12 month project it is the Groups intention to continue this programme over the forthcoming years to build up a comprehensive database which can be used as a reference base for the Binginwarri area biodiversity.
Refer to our Events Calendar on this website for future group outings associated with this project.
Any queries relating to this project should be directed to either of the following;
Kaye Proudley 5185 1398 firstname.lastname@example.org
John McClumpha 5185 1455 email@example.com