The Alpine Peatlands are crucial for moderating and filtering water flowing from the Victorian snowfields into our waterways and the Murray Darling Basin.
By maintaining hydrology of surrounding environments, healthy peatlands create a healthy water source for the southern Basin and the communities and industries that depend on this water.
North East Victoria is home to over 2,000 hectares of Alpine Peatlands, or Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens, an endangered ecological community listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999). The Alpine Peatland is a priority ecological community for the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA).
The five-year Alpine Peatlands Protection Project, supported by North East CMA through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, aims to protect this fragile ecological community by controlling introduced weeds such as willows and soft rush; and controlling deer, particularly on the Bogong High Plains.
The project will also investigate the impact of the management of deer and weeds on the peatlands.
During this second year of the project, peatland communities have been protected from trampling damage by controlling deer on over 4,000 hectares of the Alpine National Park, around the Bogong High Plains and Dinner Plain, as well as in the Mount Buffalo National Park.
An additional 3,500 hectares was treated for deer control and 40 hectares of priority peatlands were treated for invasive weeds immediately following the 2020 fire season through the North East CMA’s associated Emergency Pest Mitigation and Habitat Protection project funded by the Australian Government.
The five-year, cross-regional Alpine Peatlands Protection Project is coordinated by the Victorian Alpine Peatlands Project Coordinating Committee and delivered in collaboration across three CMA regions (North East, East Gippsland and West Gippsland) with Parks Victoria. The project builds on work supported in the first phase of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
All Peatlands photos are courtesy of Parks Victoria.