Alpine Peatlands

The Alpine Peatlands project aims to improve the health of the ecological community found in the Alpine region including Baw Baw National Park and Mount Howitt to Mount Wellington. Alpine peatlands only occur in small pockets across Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The Australian Government has funded this project from 2013 to 2018.

Alpine Peatlands

Alpine Peatlands moss bed

Need

The Alpine peatlands is part of the Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens ecological community. This community is listed as endangered under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 and threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. This ecological community is highly fragmented. It can only grow in a niche environment under a unique set of environmental conditions with the right soil type, position in the landscape, climate and water availability.

The peatlands in the Mt Baw Baw Alpine region are in better condition than most others and are home to a rich and diverse range of species including the Alpine Tree Frog, Baw Baw Frog, Alpine Water Skink and Alpine Bog Skink.

Alpine Peatlands

Planning at the Alpine Peatlands

Planning

We used the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) tool and the draft Victorian Alpine Peatlands Spatial Action Plan to rationalise and prioritise areas of focus.

Over the next five years we will work in partnership with Parks Victoria, NECMA, EGCMA, GBCMA, Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, DELWP and the Australian Government to address key threats to Alpine Peatlands. These include

  • weeds that change habitat for the species living in the community including grey sallow willow, sweet briar, gorse, soft rush, greater lotus, musk monkey flower, water-forget-me-not, ox-eye daisy
  • fire frequency and intensity
  • pest animals
  • use of illegal tracks and the lack of awareness among some park users of the importance of the alpine peatland
  • poorly sited tracks and roads
  • lack of awareness about the indigenous cultural values of alpine peatlands.
Alpine Peatlands

Works

The first year of the project has included:

  • 200ha of weed control
  • establishing baseline condition monitoring of communities.

Wild deer are causing significant environmental damage in the Alpine National Park and will be culled in a three year trial program.

The deer trample through, drink from and wallow in fragile Alpine Sphagnum Bogs. They also damage waterways, graze on native flora and contribute to erosion.

In trying to make the alpine environment resilient to climate change, it is important to remove pressures that exist on the environment from introduced species, to maximise the chance of the environment for adapting.

This trial will be managed by Parks Victoria and volunteers from the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia and the Australian Deer Association will be responsible for the shooting.

Alpine Peatlands

Outcomes


For the latest news and information on all of our projects please subscribe to our Catchment Snapshot Newsletter