The Unique Ecological Assets of Eyre Peninsula
On Eyre Peninsula boasts many different natural systems, communities and environmental assets in various states of health or decline due to historical land clearance, land use change, climate and a range of other influences both current and past. These natural systems don’t exist in isolation to each other so it is logical to approach the management and rehabilitation of them in a complementary and holistic manner. Many organisations and individuals have an interest in the management and rehabilitation of the natural systems of Eyre Peninsula, so initially it seemed logical to combine the collective experience of a small number of them to prepare the first iteration of the WildEyre conservation action plan.
Through meetings and selected site visits during 2008, the first iteration of the WildEyre plan was developed. It identified 12 distinct ecological assets within the CAP area.
6. Sand Mallee
12. Granite Outcrops
The main threats to each of these assets were considered, including:
- Introduced animals (foxes, rabbits, goats, cats etc)
- Exotic of invasive plant or weed species
- Inadequate hydrological regimes
- Unsustainable stock management practices
- Over-abundant native species (kangaroos, silver gulls)
- Lack of knowledge of systems core functioning requirements
- Inappropriate fire regime
- Increasing levels of coastal development
After much research, discussion and planning, the WildEyre team developed conservation strategies and objectives for each asset. These strategies are based on the principles of ‘S.M.A.R.T’ : Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-based. Most strategic actions have been fully costed, based on current knowledge and information to provide a realistic understanding of the investment needed to have a sustained positive influence on these ecological assets. This provides a shopping list of activities ready to be implemented as funding becomes available.
As an example – With the completion of the first iteration in mid-2008, WildEyre CAP participants submitted funding application to the Australian Federal Government’s Caring for Our Country NRM Open Grants Scheme. A grant was obtained to allow the WildEyre CAP project to start key baseline activities and projects identified within the plan. These activities include developing a seed-bank for vegetation communities in the WildEyre geographic area and undertaking baseline monitoring and evaluation using the EP Bushland Condition Monitoring process developed by the Nature Conservation Society.
The WildEyre group is now seeking to engage landholders and community members to further develop the objectives, strategies and activities needed to achieve a sustainable and integrated system of natural assets. We need you to achieve the goals of WildEyre!
If you wish to contribute to this vision – Contact us