The Cannibal Creek Biodiversity Project that was affected by a bushfire in March 2019 is showing signs of recovery with native flora and fauna returning.

On a recent visit to the site the Biodiversity On Ground Action team saw how the fire was helpful in reducing target weed species in some areas. The fire burned in patches of differing intensity, resulting in some weed infestations being incinerated.

The fire also opened up habitat which allowed native plant species to regenerate including important orchid species, forbs and grasses.  Ferns have also recovered in damp gullies.

Sightings of native fauna returning to the area include echidnas, lyrebirds and lace monitors.

The post-fire recovery of plants and animals in the project area has given an insight into the resilience of the environment following a significant and devastating disturbance,” says Geoff Lockwood, Project Coordinator.

In March 2019 a bushfire burnt over 80% of the Cannibal Creek Catchment Biodiversity Project, which was working to reduce the impact of weeds, deer and fox in remnant vegetation.

“The local community was very keen to get back in to do biodiversity conservation work soon after the fire,” says Geoff Lockwood, Project Coordinator. “It is a testament to how important getting back into the bush was for the healing and recovery of the local community, and how important community involvement is to protect the environment.”

A community initiative following the fire was to trial a fenced enclosure to exclude deer from a site containing significant plants species that avoided being burnt in the March 2019 fire.

The Cannibal Creek Biodiversity Project was designed and is led by a stakeholder group consisting of local Landcare and environmental community groups.  Weed control is undertaken mostly by licenced contractors engaged by the respective land managers or volunteers. Pest animal control is coordinated by a dedicated group of community volunteers.  

Today the on-ground biodiversity activities are continuing with removing established weeds in unburnt vegetation to prevent seed re-infestation, and ongoing deer and fox control.

The project is supported by Cardinia Shire, Melbourne Water, Port Phillip and Westernport CMA, DELWP, Bendigo Bank, and the Australian Government.

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Page last updated: 27/07/20