North East Victoria is home to more than 2000 hectares of Alpine Peatlands, an endangered ecological community listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).
Alpine Peatlands, or Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens, are a priority ecological community for the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) supported through a five-year project to protect and enhance these unique environments.
This five-year, cross-regional project is coordinated by the Victorian Alpine Peatlands Project Coordinating Committee (VAPCC) and delivered in collaboration across three CMA regions (North East, East Gippsland and West Gippsland) with Parks Victoria. This project is funded by the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
Now a new video has been released at https://youtu.be/QmyxVs7lXHA, developed by North East CMA to mark completion of the Cross Regional Victorian Alpine Peatlands Protection Project. Partners in the video are Parks Victoria, East Gippsland CMA, West Gippsland CMA and Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation.
Alpine Peatlands are crucial for providing habitat and for modulating water-flow and maintaining hydrology of surrounding environments. The health of alpine peatlands influence the health of water further down the catchment and are therefore important for the whole community.
Alpine Peatlands occur across alpine, sub-alpine and montane landscapes of Tasmania, Victoria, NSW and the ACT in permanently wet areas, such as along streams, drainage lines, valley edges and valley floors. The key to peatland or bog formation is a good supply of groundwater and an impeded drainage system that keeps the water table at or near the surface. Under these conditions, the decomposition of organic materials is incomplete, eventually forming the peat that typically underlies the ecological community.
Throughout the project, the North East CMA has been joined by Parks Victoria and Alpine Resorts Victoria in implementing key actions across the region from the Victorian Alpine Peatlands Spatial Action Plan (2015), guided by the 2015 National Recovery Plan and the Victorian Alpine Peatlands Project Coordinating Committee.
Project activities include:
(i) Weed control, targeting high threat weeds of willows, soft rush and other introduced exotic grass species
(ii) Deer control and a deer control trial investigating the impact of different deer management approaches on peatland condition.
Earlier this year, Parks Victoria facilitated the gathering in the Victorian Alps, extending invites to members of the Victorian Alpine Peatlands Project Coordinating Committee (VAPPCC), Traditional Owner groups, and others working in Alpine Conservation.
The focus of the gathering was to form and strengthen connections with one another, learn from each other's experiences, celebrate progress, and identify ways to collaborate more effectively to care for peatlands especially in a changing climate.
Read more at this Storymap at Protecting the Peatlands Together (arcgis.com)