The precious species that call the Canberra region home
Updated: Jul 31, 2022
What do you know about the plants and animals where you live? You might be surprised to learn that many of them are unique to this part of the world and have important conservation value.
The remnant woodlands and grasslands in our region are home to incredible and unique diversity, including many vulnerable and beautiful woodland birds, mammals and the secretive pink-tailed worm lizard. In spring rare orchids and lilies can be seen peeping out amongst the grasses and now that summer is here there are swathes of native grasses.
Molonglo Conservation Group (MCG) is working to restore and protect the habitat of these species by restoring and conserving six different sites in Canberra and its surrounding regions. This work is funded through the NSW Environment Trust.
The sites are Travelling Stock Reserves (TSRs). Previously used by graziers to accommodate stock as they walked to market, these days TSRs are normally agisted to nearby landholders or used during tough conditions, such as drought. Due to the fact that they’ve been only intermittently grazed, much of the plant diversity that has been lost elsewhere remains here.
The TSRs contain remnant patches of box-gum woodland, snow-gum woodland and natural temperate grasslands, all important threatened ecological communities. The trees, shrubs and grasses on these sites provide precious remnant habitat to four woodland bird species of particular significance – the Scarlet and Flame robins, the Dusky Woodswallow and the Speckled Warbler.
MCG are working with local landholders and Landcare groups to connect remaining pockets of remnant vegetation and protect what is already there. The program includes monitoring, weed removal and replanting.
Since the project began a number of surveys have been carried out on the sites, indicating a diversity of plant and animal species. Weeds like briar rose, thistle and African love grass have been removed and stepping-stone enclosures have been built for new plantings. These will eventually provide understorey amongst larger trees which operates as habitat for smaller birds.
Raising community awareness about the precious species that live on their doorstep is another important part of the project.
Molonglo Conservation Group (MCG) will raise awareness about some of the unique species who call the region home, with a new colouring book Wondrous box-gum grassy woodlands: a colouring exploration of a diverse ecosystem.
Wondrous box-gum grassy woodlands is the work of artist and ecologist Paula Peeters. Created in collaboration with the MCG, her beautiful work depicts a variety of different habitats in our surrounding regions, the animals and plants that live there and how we, as their neighbours, can care for them. It was commissioned by the Australian Capital Territory Government and the Molonglo Conservation Group, with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
As part of the campaign, the MCG will also be holding a colouring competition for primary school aged kids aged from 9-12, to be held from March 3, World Wildlife Day.
These projects are supported by funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program and the NSW Environment Trust.