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Sea Lake landholders deliver major protection works along Dunmunkle Creek

SEA Lake landholders have joined forces to protect almost 250 hectares of important remnant vegetation along Dunkmunkle Creek.

The project was developed by the Sea Lake Landcare Group with the intention of protecting a stretch of habitat along the northern section of the Dunmunkle Creek, connecting Green Lake to Lake Tyrell.

The group engaged multiple landholders to participate in fencing off the Dunmunkle Creek frontage that runs through their individual properties. The positive response resulted in the construction of eight kilometres (kms) of fencing and the protection of 40 hectares (ha) of remnant vegetation. This area of the creek was previously un-fenced and degraded by grazing. It runs south-west from the edge of the Sea Lake township towards Green Lake.

The Landcare group’s vice-president Paul Allen said the project has proven landholders are keen to work together to protect threatened flora and fauna.

“As people saw the results and benefits of this project, others put up their hand to participate” he said.

“After such a prolonged drought, this program has been timed perfectly.

“We have had above average rainfall for the year and the amount of vegetation growth is incredible.

“Keeping stock out of these areas will assist the natural regeneration processes immensely.”

The success of the project inspired a second group of farmers south of Green Lake to fence off 15 kms of creek line, protecting 191 ha of critical habitat south of Green Lake to Blysthman’s Swamp.

This section of the creek previously had some existing fences that had been funded by landholders and/or  Mallee Catchment Management Authority (CMA) initiatives, but the sections of fences were not continuously joined.

Mallee CMA Board chair Joan Burns said work on the second section of fencing from Green Lake to Blysthman’s Swamp provided an almost continuous exclusion zone along the remaining exposed creek frontage.

“Following on from the success of this project, further funding has been sourced to support the remaning landholders to complete the fencing along the sections of their creek frontage,” she said.

“The fencing delivered through the Dunmunkle Creek  project now excludes domestic stock from grazing along the creek corridor and is allowing the re-establishment of depleted and threatened flora; and will provide critical habitat for fauna by providing shelter, food and roosting sites.”

Ms Burns said the participating farmers recognise that keeping rabbit and weed numbers down is essential to the projects long term success, and will continue to undertake control programs on their individual properties.

“The Sea Lake Landcare Group and all the landholders involved in the Dunmunkle Creek project must be congratulated for the impressive outcome,” she said.

“The Landcare group has been actively working towards the goal of protecting the entire length of the Dunmunkle Creek for a number years and, together with the help of local landholders, they have achieved a significant landscape scale bio-linkage project connecting Green Lake to Lake Tyrell to the north and Blysthman’s Swamp to the south.”

Ms Burns said that by being pro-active and through forward planning, the Sea Lake Landcare Group was  well positioned to expand on the Dunmunkle Creek works and further develop what has the potential to be a major bio-linkage corridor that will retain natural habit creek for future generations.

The Dunmunkle Creek project was supported by the Mallee CMA, through funding from the Australian Government's Caring for our Country.

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