Help us restore a forest

12 04 2013

plantingI’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

More information about the Monarto Restoration Project can be found here. You can also access the PDF flyer for the volunteer call here.



4 responses

12 01 2015
It’s all about the variation, stupid |

[…] we shouldn’t reforest much of what we’ve already cut down over the last few centuries; reforestation is an essential element of any semblance of meaningful terrestrial ecological restoration. Indeed, […]


5 03 2014
Terrestrial biodiversity’s only chance is avoided deforestation | Gaia Gazette

[…] ever been involved in any tree planting yourself, you’ll know what I mean – is that it’s incredibly expensive, time-consuming and slow. Wouldn’t it make more financial sense just to save forests instead of trying to rebuild […]


24 01 2014
Terrestrial biodiversity’s only chance is avoided deforestation |

[…] ever been involved in any tree planting yourself, you’ll know what I mean – is that it’s incredibly expensive, time-consuming and slow. Wouldn’t it make more financial sense just to save forests instead of trying to rebuild […]


12 04 2013
Adrian Watkins

Rather than revegetation, I’m wondering if the emphasis should be on minimum disturbance bush care so that existing native vegetation can spread into areas that have been de-weeded. This would result in a more natural suite of indigenous plant species than would revegetation.

Also, when you talk about biggest bangs for bucks, on what are the bucks hung? Surely carbon will be sequestered if there is ecological restoration. And who knows what economic benefits will come from discoveries made about the flora & fauna of the Monarto area? So I find this a rather meaningless statement in relation to biodiversity & carbon sequestration.

Adrian Watkins

P.S. I’ve been involved in both revegetation & minimum disturbance bush care about 15 km from Monarto.


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