Willow warriors at Mount Buffalo National Park
Wednesday 28 June, 2017
Volunteers from three states recently joined forces at Mount Buffalo National Park to help Parks Victoria in the fight against invasive willows.
Willows have been present in large numbers across Mount Buffalo and Bogong High Plains Peatlands since the 2003 fires. Willows are thirsty plants and need more water than native species to live. The presence of willows within the peatlands speeds the drying of the area, and affects the sensitive ecological balance native plants and animals need to survive in this fragile landscape.
Parks Victoria has been working to remove these invasive trees annually, and with extra help from volunteers significant progress has been made. During the most recent operation volunteers worked hard for two days surveying, removing and killing seedlings across the Mount Buffalo Plateau. The volunteers concentrated on the Cresta Valley, Bogong, Lyrebird and Wirbill Plain areas.
The Victorian Alpine Peatland Protection Program is an initiative jointly funded through Parks Victoria, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme (via the North East, West Gippsland and East Gippsland Catchment Management Authorities). The program aims to minimise the threat to the peatlands from pest plants and animals, fire and altered water conditions.
Alpine peatlands only occur in small pockets across Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Peatland can only grow in niche environment under a unique set of environmental conditions, with the right soil type, position in the landscape, climate and water availability.
For more information call 13 1963 or visit www.parks.vic.gov.au
Quotes attributable to Monica Hersburgh, Regional Program Coordinator, Alps Intensive Management, Parks Victoria
“Our wonderful volunteers have dedicated so much of their time to assist us in killing off hundreds of willow seedlings, including several large mature seedlings that had previously been missed.”
“The work undertaken during this recent operation equates to 167 volunteer hours, which is a major contribution towards protecting the peatlands that are found on the Mount Buffalo Plateau.”
Media enquiriesKaren Raabe
0403 308 679
Parks Victoria media centre