A $100,000 vegetation protection project covering 14,000 hectares of Kimba is coming to a close.
It has been nearly two and a half years since two large wildfires burnt the area, with this project being managed by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board - the project has nearly been completely carried out as the affected land is on its way to recovery.
The project has been supported by the Australian Government's Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat and the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board, in conjunction with the landholders of the affected area, located 40km east of Kimba.
Planning and Assessment Officer of the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board Andrew Freeman explained that since the bushfire recovery program began in this area early in 2020, the board had been coordinating activities, working to assist recovery of the bushland and the wildlife it supports.
"These activities have included erosion control works as well as pest and weed control actions," Mr Freeman explained.
"Local data from exclosures showed that overabundant kangaroos in the area would have made plant recovery tough, but our control program has made a real difference, giving surviving plants an opportunity to re-shoot while new seedlings have been able to survive.
Mr Freeman explained that during the first stages of recovery, the area received below average rainfall, also experiencing a number of significant wind events, making it difficult for the bushland to recover.
"This all changed in mid-2021 when consistent rain began to fall before flooding in January 2022," he said.
"While this flooding caused lots of damage to nearby infrastructure such as roads, it has really sped up bushland recovery."
The board has stated that one of the highlights has been the successful recruitment of threatened species such as the chalky wattle (Acacia cretacea) and the Yellow Swainson-pea (Swainsona pyrophila), as well as the regeneration of old burnt sandalwood trees (Santalum spicatum).
The board also stated a number of landowners were affected by these fires, however, John Read and Katherine Moseby who lease majority of the land burnt, mentioning they are excited to see how the bush is recovering.
"We're really pleased to see trees and shrubs re-sprouting and new seedlings and dense grasses take hold in this area," Dr Moseby said.
"The funding has meant kangaroo and goat numbers could be reduced which has given seedlings a much better chance of survival.
Dr Moseby said they were thankful for the funding and the support from the board, mentioning keeping the herbivores under control has led to widespread recruitment of grasses and shrubs since the rain.
"It was really difficult seeing our land so badly affected by fire but the plant diversity we now have is incredible," she said.
With the Australian Government funding now spent, landowners such as John and Katherine will continue to undertake actions, working to maximise the recovery of the bushland into the future.
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