Sign of the times

Thursday 26 April, 2018
Signs highlighting the importance of protecting roadside native vegetation have sprung up across the Moira Shire Council.

Goulburn Broken CMA’s Conservation Management Network Co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said the project was triggered after a phone call from a landholder concerned about the loss of valuable trees, shrubs and grasses along roadsides, and the lack of regeneration. 

“In the scheme of things, only a fraction of the original native vegetation is left in the Moira Shire area, much of it along roadsides,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“This vegetation provides valuable habitat for native birds, reptiles, microbats and even insects, which are a food source for most of these species.  Roadside vegetation provides links between revegetated sites on farms and public land, which allows wildlife to move through the landscape seeking food and shelter, and allows the gene pool to disperse, therefore preventing local extinctions of species such as grey-crowned babblers and bush-stone curlews.

“Often these vegetated roadsides provide shade and protection for stock and also provide protection for pastures and cropping land.  Where native vegetation is removed and sprayed, the gap is usually filled by opportunistic weed species, contributing to the degradation of a region’s biodiversity and overall health.

“The farmer who called was concerned that spraying, ploughing and other activities along roadsides was destroying the last of this precious habitat and suggested that signs encouraging people to check before they did any work would be a good idea.”

Ms Mentiplay-Smith and the landholder identified a number of key sites for signage and with assistance from Moira Shire Council, 40 “significant roadside habitat” signs have been installed across the shire.

“The signs’ message is simple,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said. “Before spraying, ploughing or removing vegetation from any of these sites, please check with council. By protecting these areas, we’ll maintain the unique landscape that makes this area such a great place to live, work and visit, now and into the future.”