Excursion 5: Seawalls Edge Nature Reserve

SEANA Spring 2023 Camp

Excursion 5: Seawalls Edge Nature ReserveSaturday morning
Leader: Diana DroogFacilitator: Ron Greer

This is an amazing site where the owners and a biologist, led by Diana Droog, have created a 15ha Wildlife Nature Reserve in Corner Inlet at Toora. Corner Inlet was declared a RAMSAR site in 1982.

The group members were treated to an interesting talk about the creation of the reserve and ongoing management of the land which was purchased by the current owners in 2008. They were then taken in groups on a very interesting walking tour of the property after a delicious morning tea-maps of the property were provided.

Some of the major features of the land that were discussed:

  • Important migratory bird habitat.
  • This southern boundary on Corner Inlet has important salt marsh habitat for the rare Orange Bellied Parrot.
  • The property does not have a sea wall.
  • Mangroves grow on both sides of the property.
  • Water from surrounding properties drain into the Inlet.
  • The land is flat so easily managed.

For the first 2-3 years after acquiring the land part of the property was leased to a local farmer while developing future plans. The work that was initially carried out included:

  • Research on the history of the property.
  • Joined local Landcare Group.
  • Cleaned up boxthorn, blackberries, dead confers, old farm buildings.
  • Put in fencing and an internal road.
  • Constructed a shed and renovation of a small building on site.
  • Worked on a plan to revegetate the area and preserve it for wildlife.

Implementation of the formulated plans, particularly since 2012, has included staggered tree plantings, and understory plantings each year, as well as weed control:

  • Use of a local skilled contractor who spot sprayed, supplied & planted 24,000+ hycos & some tube stock. Currently up to 35,000+ plantings.
  • Various species of the following have been included – Paperbarks, Hop Goodenia, Tea-tree, Tussocks & Rushes, Sedges, Gums, Wattles, She-Oaks and Banksia.
  • Temporarily bamboo staked each plant, as there is 800mm rainfall no watering is required.
  • No wallabies or rabbits, however minor issues with bush rats, flooding & frosts to be contended with.
  • Created 3 wetlands in 2014.
  • 16+ protective drainage culverts were constructed.
  • Ecological studies – monitoring wild life and eDNA.
  • Achievement of a TFN Covenant in 2018.

In 2014 a graded area of approximately 1.3 ha was cleared to create 4 raised garden beds, work carried out and major issues include:

  • Sprayed the dock.
  • Used pine mulch to suppress weeds.
  • 600+indigenous plants from all of Australia (260+species).
  • Focused on large trees such as BunjaBunja, RiverGum, Wollemi Pine, Mountain Ash, and Fig with mixed understorey including native grasses.
  • Problems with excess water, large Yorkshire Foggrass, dock, and frosts.
  • Management of wombats. Grevilleas, Pomaderris, Wattles, Hopbush, Banksia, Bottlebrushes, Correas, Hakeas have all been established very successfully.

Changes in fauna visitations include:

  • Increase in visiting/resident birds (90+species).
  • Grey kangaroos (10+), possibly resident.
  • Wombats, many are burrowing on the property – they are becoming a management problem in some areas!
  • Echidnas.
  • Frogs (5 species).
  • Koalas (2species), first recorded in 2021.
  • Freshwater crayfish
  • Swamp rats, lizards, snakes.
  • Butterflies, moths, flies, biting midges.
  • Pests such as deer, hares, cats, rats, and foxes.

The area is possibly a future habitat for threatened species such as Antechinus, New Holland Mouse, Eastern Pygmy-possum, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Southern Brown Bandicoot, Long Nose Potoroo, White Footed Dunnart, Rikali, Sugar Gliders, Swamp Skink, Orange Bellied Parrot plus other bats & birds

A very interesting and rewarding visit hosted by extremely hospitable and competent

Rosalind Steel