Financial incentives are available to landholders who want to protect wetlands on private land in the Goulburn Broken Catchment.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) project manager Jim Castles said the project, which is funded by the Victorian Government, is aimed at protecting sensitive wetland/swamp areas by fencing to restrict stock access at times when the wetlands are at risk from damage by stock.
“Stock can cause considerable damage to wetlands when they are wet, so it is really important to exclude stock at certain times of the year.” Mr Castles said.
“We can assist landholders with financial incentives to assist with the costs associated with fencing and the installation of stock troughs or dams, as wetland areas are often used as watering points for stock.”
Mr Castles said Wetlands on private agricultural land provide habitat for a diverse range of invertebrates, reptiles, mammals and birds, and act as a natural filter to cleanse water of sediments and pollutants before it enters other waterways.
“Many of our wetlands have been destroyed by overgrazing and have been drained, ploughed and leveled out, so the wetlands that remain are very important to the Catchment’s health.” He said. “We provide funding to landholders to help them manage these important ecosystems to improve their condition and resilience, and we offer a management plan as part of the deal.”
Around 80 percent of wetlands in Victoria are on private land and are less likely to be linked to a river floodplain than some public land wetlands. They are often small and temporary in nature and they often dry out in summer and fill up again during winter rains.
“Many landholders are unaware of the importance of these wetlands, and often think of them as the ‘boggy area down the back’ or ‘crab hole county’, rather than as fragile important ecosystems.” Mr Castles said. “If these areas are managed properly they really can be biodiversity hot spots.”
For more information about the project or to organise an obligation free site visit phone Jim Castles on 5822 7700 or email email@example.com
Photo: Dickie Swamp - One of our better wetlands