Project Name : Kalimna Gully
Funding Source: Communities for Nature
Project Overview: This four year project aims to preserve the rainforest through the management of weeds, restoration planting, community engagement, education and storm water management.
The East Gippsland Rainforest Conservation Management Network has secured a State Government 'Communities for Nature' grant of $33,055 for preserving the Kalimna Gully rainforest.
The rainforests at Kalimna Gully are important for biodiversity conservation as they contain the threatened vegetation communities of East Gippsland Coastal and Alluvial Terraces Warm temperate rainforest as well as Littoral rainforest.
The rainforest at Kalimna gully represents one of the most southerly occurrences of Warm Temperate rainforest anywhere in the world, are know habitat for threatened species such as the Sooty owl and due to there peri urban location are recognised as a significant educational resource. They are also a great example of what now is a nationally rare vegetation community.
Unfortunately the rainforest systems at Kalimna gully are currently also under threat from the fast encroaching urban environment, the dumping of and invasion of garden weeds and stormwater run-off.
Rare or threatened species which are known to inhabit the area include:Yellow-wood, Yellow milk vine with the site recently discovered to contain a Sooty owl and provides habitat for the grey headed flying fox, swift parrot and other species. Jointed Mistletoe (Korthalsella rubra) also occurs in the gully which is the food source for the young Yellow-spotted Jezabel butterfly who as adults feed on the nectar of Yellowwood, a local native citrus tree
Unfortunately this site has been subject to garden (and other) waste dumping which has introduced several highly invasive weeds to the gully. These weeds, including Wandering Trad, Spider lily, Cape ivy, Cape gooseberry and Bridal creeper are outcompeting the natural vegetation, starving it of light, water and nutrients and if left unmanaged will kill this rainforest.
Catchment hardening from nearby developments, where by the introduction of hard surfaces prevents in infiltration of water into the soil profile and increasing runoff and erosion, is also taking its toll on this important area.
Our four year project is well under way and aims to preserve the rainforest through the management of weeds, restoration planting, community engagement, education and storm water management.
Most recently several hundred plants have been established in the area sprayed last year and spray contractors have also been busy with another round of chemical warfare on the gullies north western side targeting the transforming weeds Trad and Ivy.
We continued to utilise the students from Forestec in a mutually beneficial arrangement whereby students assist with revegetation and supplement planting and weeding in the gully under our supervision and gain accreditation and training by doing so.
An interpretative sign for the Gully has been finalised and will be installed soon with the hope that detailing the sites environmental attributes and significance will deter future destructive activities such as fern removal, digging for worms, rubbish and garden waste dumping as well as inform visitors about the areas environmental significance.