Dudley Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, is home to seven conservation parks covering more than 5000 hectares - more than we can handle. We focus on manageable projects that protect endangered species and plant communities.
Our Friends group formed in 2003 when Baudin Conservation Park was dedicated to protect and expand the area ofAllocasuarina verticillata, Drooping Sheoak, whose seeds are the sole food of the endangered Glossy Black-cockatoo, which is recovering to about double the numbers of 2003.
Current membership of Friends of Dudley Peninsula is about 20 households and the average attendance at working bees is about seven. Our liaison ranger is sourced from the graduate ranger scheme on a six-month rotation.
In the early years of the group, work concentrated on Baudin Conservation Park. Revegetation with Drooping Sheoak and other trees and tall shrubs has been very successful but understorey re-establishment is difficult because of the huge browser pressure, mainly from Tammar Wallabies. The group’s attention is now mainly elsewhere.
We don’t work in the large intact vegetation blocks of three conservation parks, apart from an annual boundary walk to check for weed incursion from roads or farming land. We can complete all land boundaries in about six years.
That leaves about 1,140 ha to be getting on with – still too large an area for our small group to adequately service. We take a project-focused approach to our working bees, which mainly run during the wetter periods of the year when we can plant and weed.
Our current focus project is to reduce the spread of Arum Lily in Lashmar CP. We have drawn the park up into sectors which we monitor for three working bees a year, during the growing and flowering time of the lilies. We reduce numbers with glyphosate but no longer dig out because complete removal is almost impossible and missed roots and seeds will reshoot. A contractor has sprayed the central infestation and surrounding areas with metsulphuron two years in a row, partly thanks to a DEWNR On-parks grant. We will continue to monitor for several more years to ensure eradication.
Lashmar Conservation Park has large areas of the endangeredEucalyptus cneorifolia (Narrow-leaved Mallee) plant community, listed under the EPBC Act. The plant community is also protected in Dudley Conservation Park.
Our other activities are replanting from tubestock that we have grown up ourselves in Baudin, Cape Willoughby, Lashmar and Pelican Lagoon CPs, and the endless weeding.