I’m not usually one to promote conservation volunteer opportunities, but this is a little different. First, I’m involved in this one, and second, it’s very near to my home. As you might know, the Mount Lofty Ranges area has had about 90 % of its forests destroyed since European settlement, with a corresponding loss of ecosystem services. We need smart restoration on massive scale, and Monarto is one place where we can develop the best practices to achieve this goal. We really do need some help here, so I encourage anyone in the Adelaide area with an interest in evidence-based forest restoration to lend us a hand.
The Monarto Restoration Project will provide an internationally recognised opportunity to experience and engage with wild Australia as it was.
Our aim is restore and expand habitats at Monarto to represent what used to exist in the region before clearing for agriculture and the introduction of pest species. Monarto used to be teeming with wildlife. The remnant vegetation at Monarto is unique as it is located at the cross-over of two vegetation communities (the Mt Lofty Ranges and Murray Mallee). This means it provides important habitat for a range of threatened bird and plant species. However, there are still a number of species in danger of being lost from the area, so we need to focus on restoring habitat to support them too.
We provide an opportunity to see the bush in a way that is no longer possible in most parts of Australia. We hope to help you see what we have lost and encourage you to participate in conservation. It gives us the opportunity to include everyone in on-ground conservation work and pass on skills that can be applied beyond a day or this project. With your help we can reduce the impacts of pest species on the property and re-introduce some of the native species that are now locally extinct.
How you can help
The Monarto Restoration Project provides a great way to get involved in on-ground conservation work, and build skills and experience in conservation.
Opportunities this year include:
- The University of Adelaide and The University of Queensland Australian Research Council Grant (ARC) Linkage Project – designed to investigate the cost-benefit trade-off between biodiversity and carbon sequestration, i.e. what gives most “bang for your buck”. The project will commence surveys week beginning 15 April and we need your help! Opportunities include vegetation surveys, pitfall (reptile) traps, invertebrate traps, bee surveys.
- Planting – this year we have some 50,000 plants to put in the ground over 55 ha spread over multiple sites. Holes are predrilled so all you need to is bring some gloves, de-tube a plant, and drop it in a hole! Too easy. We’ll even let nature do the watering.
Equipment for tasks is supplied. You will need to wear suitable outdoor work clothes including a hat and sensible footwear. Bring your lunch, snacks and plenty of water to drink.
Please nominate a date range to assist with our planning and to allow us to coordinate groups:
- 20-24 May
- 27-31 May
- 3-7 June
- 10-14 June