What we’re doing
Restoring an entire ecosystem is a tricky business, but at Scottsdale we hope to do just that by helping natural regeneration along, and by replanting key species of the precious yellow box woodland.
A project aiming to restore 300 hectares of woodland is being carried out by Greening Australia – funded by the Australian Government and Bush Heritage.
How do we create an environment that favours native plants when the soil has a long history of fertiliser, grazing and cultivation? African lovegrass is a major headache. Cropping areas on the valley floor have become infested with it, but we're trying out a few different techniques.
One successful strategy has been removing the top 10cm of nutrient-enriched topsoil. We then direct seed with a mix of native trees and shrubs. So far the new seedlings are doing great, and we're thrilled with the lack of weed competition.
Relocating the striped legless lizard
With 1 in 15 Australian reptiles at risk of extinction, we're translocating and reintroducing the striped legless lizard to Scottsdale. We rescued these nationally threatened lizards from two development sites in northern Canberra.
Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach (UMDR)
The UMDR has been reestablished to demonstrate ways of supporting the recovery of native fish populations. Amongst its projects are carp control research and willow reductions measures.
Carp are one of the world's most invasive species and research we're involved in has the potential to inform targeted carp removal on a much broader scale.
Not much is known about their movements and where they aggregate in the context of this upland riverine system. The project involves tagging fish and tracking their movements with acoustic telemetry. They will also be lured, trapped and removed from a section of the river, to learn more about their population structure.
Finally, local anglers will be engaged to support the work by reporting carp sightings and carp catches including numbers, behaviour and size using a soon to be released app.
Reducing the impact of willow trees
Willow infestation is a major issue for native fish habitats - it can block out native plants, alter stream flows, cause flooding and reduce water quality. The UMDR works to control young emerging willows with volunteers in kayaks cutting back and removing the plants before they can establish.
UMDR Project facilitator Antia Brademann has described how they can block waterflow as well as produce a fibrous root mass that tends to affect habitats on the bank and make burrowing difficult for platypus.
''We also get leaf fall from the willow in the autumn," she said "and we often get a rotting muck at the bottom of the water. It degenerates water quality and raises phosphate levels.''
The project is led by the Kosciuszko 2 Coast partnership, with more funding from the Murray Darling Basin Authority and Bush Heritage Australia.