Cummeragunja revegetation project already sprouting
05 Aug 2022
PRODUCTION ADVICE & NRM NEWS - AUGUST 2022 - ENVIRONMENT
By Jamie Hearn, Senior Land Services Officer - Central Murray Ramsar project
P: 02 6051 2225 | M: 0447 420 789 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seeds are already germinating following the direct seeding of the Cummeragunja sandhills in early July.
Bordering the Millewa forest area of the Central Murray Ramsar site, Cummeragunja is a local Aboriginal community near Barmah on the Murray River. Much of the cleared area of the property is cropped. However, a substantial area is made up of large sandhills that the community are reluctant to graze or crop for fear of exposing the fragile sand underneath. In an effort to protect and preserve the area, the community approached Murray LLS and expressed an interest in planting trees across the sandhills.
The planting saw approximately 50 hectares of the Cummeragunja sandhills direct seeded with around 15 different sandhill appropriate plant species. The Murray Seed Services crew direct seeded the site over two days, with a pre-spray done before seeding to provide the best weed control possible. The project was undertaken with the support of the Cummeragunja board and community and funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and Murray LLS Seed Services.
Direct seeding was also undertaken on a 10ha site in the Koondrook – Perricoota forest at the same time. These projects complement similar work done on nearby Yorta Yorta owned sandhills by the old Murray Catchment Management Authority (CMA) to help stabilise the sandhills and improve the area's biodiversity.
To protect the new plants, the Moama Local Aboriginal Land Council undertook a rabbit fumigation and warren destruction program at Cummeragunja before seeding. The multi-pronged rabbit control initiative also included a 1080 baiting program involving the Murray LLS bio-security team and Moama LALC crew. A four-year boxthorn removal program has also recently been completed at Cummeragunja, further removing harbour for rabbits.
And so far, the rabbit control program seems to have been a success. Recent spotlighting surveys noted a significant reduction in adult rabbit numbers, and an ongoing control program is being developed for 2022-23 to maintain pressure on the rabbit population.
The success of the projects already looks promising. Following the seeding, the new MLLS Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR) Ranger team visited Cummeragunja and Koondrook – Perricoota and identified germinated seeds after only a few weeks!
To find out more about this project or how direct seeding might benefit your land, contact the Murray LLS Natural Resources Management team on 1300 795 299.
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