Flora and fauna thrive at reserve as rehabilitation works progress

Flora and fauna thrive at reserve as rehabilitation works progress

Released: 12 July 2017

Two years after a devastating bushfire severely damaged approximately 80 per cent of Black Hill Reserve near Kyneton, work on a range of projects to regenerate and protect the reserve’s natural environment is continuing.  

New picnic tables have recently replaced those lost during the bushfire. The new tables were constructed and installed by young men from the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre.  

Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson said Council approached the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre following the bushfire in 2015.  

“The idea was to involve young men in the reserve’s rehabilitation program as part of their ongoing education and training and it’s been a real win-win situation.  

“These young men have developed practical skills while helping us to clear fallen timber from paths, build picnic tables and set up nest boxes,” she said.  

In addition to the rehabilitation works, an environmental management plan that focusses on the reserve’s ecological values and history was adopted by Council in May following extensive community consultation and collaboration with the Friends of Black Hill.  

“The plan is an important document that will support ongoing efforts to protect this significant patch of natural habitat.  

“We appreciate the vital role that the Friends of Black Hill play in preserving the reserve’s biodiversity, natural beauty and enjoyment for all,” she said.  

Through the development of the plan, more than 750 plant species and 220 animal species were identified, as well as 12 threatened species, including the nationally-threatened Clover Glycine and Powerful Owl.  

Since the bushfires, more than 200 nest boxes have been built by local schools, men’s sheds and the Malmsbury Justice Youth Centre, and installed throughout the reserve. An ongoing fauna monitoring program is gathering data and monitoring the nest boxes.  

“We know that activity in the nest boxes has increased by 60 per cent with our environment team and Friends of Black Hill capturing footage of Sugar Gliders, the threatened Brush-tailed Phascogale, a Sparrowhawk, Brush-tailed possums and a rarely seen Australian Owlet-nightjar,” she said.  

The last bird survey discovered a variety of species, including a pair of Tawny Frogmouths nesting.  

Other planned works and projects at the reserve include annual plant, animal and pest surveys, weed control and installation of a bushfire memorial.

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