Monday, 2 November 2015

Exhibition of Threatened Species of Riddells Creek

We officially opened Riddells Creek Landcare's exhibition of Threatened Species Sunday 1st October, at Seasons Bistro. These fourteen species are part of the ecological communities of Riddells Creek and all are threatened. The principal threats are continued clearing of native vegetation for agriculture and urban settlement, the spread of weeds and pest animals like foxes and cats, and for grasslands species, the lack of regular burning.

All these species are all listed on the Advisory List of Rare or Threatened Species in Victoria, 2005. The Purple Diuris Orchid (Diuris punctata var punctata) is listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, the Victorian legislation for the conservation of threatened species and communities. Matted Flax Lily (Dianella ameona) is listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), the Australian Government's key piece of environmental legislation.

The idea for an exhibition came for the RCL Committee of Manageement, as part of our Rail Reserve project.The Reserves along the railway lines across Victoria are an important refuge for native vegetation. In the approaches to Riddells Creek Station, the remnants of the original grasslands are home to four plants on the Rare or Threatened Species List: Purple Diuris Orchid; Matted Flax Lilly; Large-flower Crane’s-bill (Geranium sp. 1); and Branching Groundsel (Senecio cunninghamii var. cunninghamii).

Riddells Creek Landcare is organising removal of weeds that threaten these species. These are weeds that you'll see in many places - blackberry, english broom, gorse, spear thistle, serrated tussock, briar rose, pine seedlings, fennel, mirror bush, cotoneaster, prunis and phalaris. In the Rail Reserve these weeds are crowding out native species, and need to be controlled.

With funding through a Community Grant from the Port Philip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, we are able to employ a contractor (Indigwedo) to spray these weeds. The endangered species have all been mapped, and the contractor knows how to remove the weeds without damaging native vegetation.

Thanks to, we had access to high resolution photographs of all 14 species, and Lyn Hovey has had these printed to canvas, mounted and then hung them at Seasons Bistro. Take the opportunity to drop in and see these delights, and take one home for what it cost us to make them up.

RCL Members and guests at the opening of the Threatened Species Exhibition

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