Reducing plant predation pressures on Phillip Island
Community training, revegetation and fencing exclusion trials
Plant predation has become the biggest threat to Phillip Island’s indigenous vegetation, with pressures from Swamp Wallabies, Swamp Hens, Cape Barren Geese, rabbits and Brushtail Possums. Over recent years, Phillip Island Landcare Group (PILG) has concentrated efforts on wallaby-proof fencing revegetation sites and guarding plants from rabbits, however the cost of wallaby-proof fencing has become a major limiting factor to vegetation establishment. Eucalypts are also rapidly declining and remnant understory is under threat from immense grazing pressures. Innovative methods must be considered to protect natural regeneration, revegetation efforts and our future Island biodiversity.
Through a successful 2022 Landcare grant from the Victoria Government we will trial eight exclusion fencing plots across seven remnant and revegetation sites to increase plant survival and reduce costs of revegetation. We will upskill our community on installing exclusion fencing at four Community planting and fencing training days, and produce an educational video on the process, publicly available on our website for anyone to access. Plots will be monitored using photo points, survival rates, and infrared cameras to monitor fauna on and adjacent to sites. Exclusion fencing materials will be reused and re established in future plots across the Island, establishing a revolving community resource to be used many times over.
Through this trial, community training, video product and monitoring, we aim to test new solutions that break down barriers to revegetation establishment and success, upskill community and landholders in exclusion fence construction and give new indigenous vegetation a chance to establish and thrive amidst the pressures of increasing predation from both invasive and native wildlife.
We have 7 trail sites that will be established in Winter 2023.