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Alpine Peatlands

What are Alpine Peatlands?

The North East Region of Victoria is home to over 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) and are the focus of a new five-year project that serves to protect and increase the abundance of these unique environments. Why is this important? Alpine Peatlands are crucial for providing habitat and for modulating water-flow and maintaining hydrology of surrounding environments. The health of alpine peatlands will 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, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory in permanently wet areas, such as along streams, drainage lines, valley edges and valley floors. The key to 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.

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. The project builds on work supported in the first phase of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

What is happening in North East Victoria to Protect Alpine Peatlands?

Together with Parks Victoria, the North East CMA is implementing key actions across the region from the Victorian Alpine Peatlands Spatial Action Plan (2015) through this project, 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 and soft rush

(ii) Deer control on the Bogong High Plains; and

(iii) Investigating the impact of deer management on peatland conditions.

 

Key Contacts

 

Mark Cairns, Senior Project Officer Biodiversity  mark.cairns@necma.vic.gov.au

Olivia Kemp, Project Officer Biodiversity olivia.kemp@necma.vic.gov.au

Telephone: 1300 216 513

Acknowledgement

This project is supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria, East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.