Project Name : Littoral Rainforest
Funding Source: Australian Federal Government
Start/ Fin: June 2012 -2018
Project Overview: This project will improve the health and general integrity of Littoral Rainforest communities across our region.The EGRCMN is working closely with DELWP, Parks Victoria, consultants and other interested parties to develop a state wide management plan for this vegetation type which includes mapping previously -unsurveyed areas, prioritizing the development works and actively managing several littoral rainforest sites by removing weeds and controlling the impacts of feral animals such as deer. This plan is now available for download from our website at the bottom of this page.
This project will also see the engagement of local indigenous work crews to help look after and learn about these important areas (more info below).
The ecological community entitled Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia is only located along the east coast of Australia. This vegetation extends from the Gippsland Lakes in the south, to the base of Cape York Peninsula, Queensland in the north.
This community represents some of the last remnants of native forest vegetation on Australia’s east coast, providing important habitat for many threatened plants and animals, and valuable ecosystem services such as acting as a buffer to coastal winds and erosion. It has been listed in the critically endangered category “because of its very restricted distribution and very severe decline in integrity across most of its range.” Urban development is one of the main pressures on Australia’s coastal environment (Beeton et al. 2006) where this ecological community continues to be threatened by vegetation clearance.
East Gippsland is the only place in Victoria where Littoral rainforest in known to occur and are listed as critically endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
The list of nationally threatened species associated with the Littoral Rainforest community includes 26 endangered species listed under the EPBC Act (19 flora and 7 fauna).
In Victoria, the total area of this ecological community is approximately 200 ha found in East Gippsland. There are a total of 108 stands of which 91% of patches are less than 10 ha in size; no patches are greater than 100 ha each; and 59% of the area of occupancy comes from just 10 patches (which are between 10 and 100ha).
The highly significant listing under the EPBC Act means that any new activity that is likely to have a significant impact on the ecological community will need to be referred to the Department for assessment and approval.
Assistance for managing rainforests on private property can be obtained through joining the East Gippsland Rainforest Conservation Management Network, a local group which aims to protect and restore theses communities.
The National Landcare Program (NLP) will now replace CFOC and continue to provide the EGRCMN with funding to look after Littoral Rainforest area and train indigenous work crews to assist in project delivery.
As a key part of our current program is to continue to engage the services of Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC)- the successful Native Title claimants and traditional custodians of the land where we work.
The EGRCMN look forward to building on this productive partnership with Gunaikurnai Enterprise, which is seen as a valuable means of supporting regional Aboriginal people’s engagement and participation in natural resource management and a great opportunity for all involved!
Littoral Rainforest Project: Caring For Our Country
-This Stage of the project is now complete and has achieved some great conservation outcomes for rainforest in our region.
Caring for our country funding from the federal government supports programs that are of national environmental significance. The EGRCMN is set to receive $40,000 under this program to run projects aimed at improving the health and general integrity of Littoral Rainforest communities in our area..
The EGRCMN is working closely with DEPI, Parks Victoria and consultants to help develop a state wide management plan for this vegetation type which includes mapping previously unsurveyed areas, the development works prioritizations and will see us actively managing several littoral rainforest sites by removing weeds and controlling the impacts of feral animals such as deer.
This program also presents us with an opportunity for capacity building with the new indigenous land management agency the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation, who we will be working with to train and employ to do some of the on ground works.