wetland 1

CONSERVATION

INTRODUCTION

The Boneo Park property is made up of a variety of habitat types spanning approximately 330 hectares. In 2013, around 200 hectares of land was placed under a conservation covenant with the Trust for Nature to ensure it is protected into the future.

The property has a long history of human interaction and climatic changes. Approximately 12,000 years ago, when Tasmania was connected to the mainland, Port Phillip Bay was a grassy plain with the Maribyrnong, Werribee and Yarra rivers joining and flowing out to meet the Tamar River. These rivers combined into a large swamp which at the time drained off the continental shelf to the south-west. This ancient land connection is found in some of the plants growing locally and shells and crustaceans found in the peat deposits within the wetland. This grassy plain was then flooded becoming Port Phillip Bay. In the interceding years the sea level rose and fell a number of times. The Bunerong/Boonerwurrung people were harvesting shellfish from its shores, as evidenced by the numerous midden sites along the edges of the older (Pleistocene) dune system at Boneo Park on which the Moonah and Drooping Sheoak still grow. With the receding shoreline the estuarine catchment became blocked through successive dune formation creating a wetland which became a rich resource for the original inhabitants. The shell midden sites found along the fringes of the old coastline reflect its use.

Since European settlement land use has been varied, the peaty soils were exploited by succeeding generations of European immigrants for market gardening, grazing, lime extraction and fertilizer production. Drains were constructed modifying the hydrology and the vegetation across the swampland.

The property, as we see it today, is a product of all these histories.  The property has shown to be extremely resilient and anecdotal evidence suggests the property now is the best it has been in the last 50 years.

The major habitat types on the property are the wetlands, the woodlands and the grasslands.

 

For more information, or to arrange your guided tour please email [email protected]

BONEO PARK SURROUNDING LAND USE

Map-Surrounding-Land

REHABILITATION OF SWAMP

cattle damage pugging

Before cattle removed

Credit: Gidja Walker
rehabilitation swamp cattle removal

One year after cattle removed

Credit: Gidja Walker
rehabilitation swamp cattle removal

Two years after cattle removed

Credit: Gidja Walker

SWAMP SKINK

Credit: Cameron Brown

Credit: Cameron Brown

Swamp Skink Egernia Coventryi

Leafy Greenhood

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Pterostylis Cucullata - A nationally vulnerable species (orchid leafy greenhood)

Veined Helmet-Orchid

Credit: Imelda Douglas

Credit: Imelda Douglas

Corybas Diemenicus amongst moss (orchid coastal moonah woodland)

White-footed Dunnart

Credit: Malcolm Legg

Credit: Malcolm Legg

White-footed Dunnart Sminthopsis Leucopus

African Boxthorn

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

African Boxthorn Control on “Horror Hill” (boxthorn cut and paint)

Morel Fungi

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Morel Morchella esculenta A rare fungus found in the mossy understory of Coastal Moonah Woodland

Old Moonahs

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Melaleuca Lanceolata (coastal moonah woodland evc858)

Polygala

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Polygala in Coastal Moonah Woodland (coastal moonah woodland polygala myrtifolia)

Grassland

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Calcareous Swale Grassland evc 309

Mossy floor

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Mossy floor of Coastal Moonah Woodland (CMW evc 858)

Scarab Beetles

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Scarab Beetles defoliating introduced Blackberry (Rubus, beetle, biocontrol, blackberry)

Italian Buckthorn

Credit: Gidja Walker

Credit: Gidja Walker

Italian Buckthorn & Blackberry

Australasian Bittern

Credit: Cameron Brown

Credit: Cameron Brown

Australasian Bittern Tootgarook

Southern Emu-wren

Credit: Cameron Brown

Credit: Cameron Brown

Southern emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus


For a full list of birds that visit Boneo Park:

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