Damage from feral pigs on Yourka Reserve, Qld. Photo Paul Foreman.
The soil crust is made up of lichens, leaf litter and soil invertebrates that together protect the soil surface and increase its ability to absorb water. Erosion occurs when the soil crust and its cover of vegetation is damaged.
The poor placement or design of tracks, dams and infrastructure and the compaction of the soil, often caused by the action of hard-hooved animals, are major causes of erosion.
We use a number of techniques to control erosion. They range from simple silt traps to major earthworks. Silt traps slow the flow of water over the ground and catch waterborne soil particles and seeds.
Major earthworks are needed to remove levy banks or dams that disrupt the natural flow of water, or to repair serious erosion gullies.
How the land responds
Erosion gully caused by the Trapper’s Dam (now removed) spillway on Carnarvon Reserve. Photo Darren Larcombe and Glen Norris.
The seeds of plants caught in silt traps quickly germinate and help to further slow the movement of water and stabilise the soil. Restoring the natural flow of water across the land surface helps to return water to creeks, rivers and natural aquifers and nourishes the soil and the native habitats.