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Grampians to undergo intensive wildlife health check

Friday 16 November, 2012

A team of Parks Victoria rangers and Museum Victoria scientists are joining forces to perform an extensive biodiversity scan of the Grampians – one of Victoria’s most loved parks.

The Grampians Bioscan will run from 18-29 November and will act as a health check for the wildlife and habitats in the region. Around 60 Museum Victoria scientists and postgraduate students and 20 Parks Victoria staff will capture information and images of wildlife around the clock. 

Ranger in Charge David Roberts said the Grampians Bioscan is a rapid survey to trap, spotlight, sample and record wildlife, geology and human history throughout the Grampians National Park and other nearby parks.

“This partnership presents a great opportunity for scientists and rangers to collaborate to improve our collective knowledge following the recent floods at the Grampians,” said Mr Roberts. “Over the past decade we’ve had major fires and floods, which have altered the landscape and directly affected wildlife habitats. With recovery from the recent floods well underway, and much of the major infrastructure now repaired, this is a golden opportunity to check in on the park’s wildlife and biodiversity.”

Dr Mark Norman, Head of Sciences, Museum Victoria, said he and his team were excited to work with Parks Victoria in an iconic region of Victoria.

“Behind the dramatic geology of the Grampians there is a stunning array of habitats ranging from grasslands, woodlands, tall eucalypt forest, rocky slopes, moist gullies with ancient tree ferns, swamps and rivers. What we discover about the wildlife in these habitats will help protect, manage and spread the word on these special animals and plants.”

The bioscan will explore and study:

1) the wildlife of wetlands and streams
2) fauna and flora in wet gullies in eastern parts of the Victoria Range, focussing on invertebrates (particularly land snails) and the endangered Smoky Mouse
3) distribution of significant small mammals in the Grampians and Black Range State Park
4) identifying the rich moth fauna inhabiting upland rocky outcrops
5) reptile studies in the Grampians rocky knoll environments
6) surveys of the geology and fossils of Grampians National Park
7) a pilot survey to investigate if introduced Sallow Wattle is impacting wildlife in the northern parts of the Grampians
8) recording oral histories of the Grampians National Park, particularly with families that have a long-term connection and former forestry and parks staff.

The information, images and recordings will be combined and made available for use in research programs, education activities and interpretation.

The Grampian survey follows last year’s productive bioscan at Wilsons Promontory National Park, where 700 animal species were recorded, including animals previously unseen at the Prom.

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