Working Bee/Scenic Walk

The Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park are holding a working bee on Saturday April 30th and are would welcome new or existing volunteers to come along.

 The worksite is in a remote part of the park and getting there will involve a scenic 3km walk through beautiful tree-fern filled Mountain Ash forest. The work will involve removing tree-guards from previous plantings and re-using them to plant more over-storey trees.

The meeting point will be the park visitors’ centre at 9am. BYO snacks, drink, gloves.  For planning purposes please RSVP to David on 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com P4180171a_2

 

Night Life

A few night time visits to the park to get a better idea of the night flying insects that live in Tarra-Bulga have been reaping rewards. Here are just a few highlights of what is flying or crawling about our tall forests. All sightings are being uploaded to our project on www.bowerbird.org.au where they can hopefully be identified and then placed on the the Atlas of Living Australia and become a permanent record in their searchable online database.

Healthy Park Walks

Healthy Park Walks are back for 2016 and the first one is this Wednesday February 17th.
There is no better way to get active than to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in the beautiful surrounds of Tarra-Bulga National Park. Experienced guides will lead the way for a leisurely paced walk that will give you time to enjoy the wildlife and the stunning rainforest surrounds. For further details and to register visithttp://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/…/tarra-bulga-park-w…/

Park Walks_a

 

Tarra Bulga National Park Heart Foundation walks 2016

2015 Lyrebird Survey

Lyrebird Count 2015 photoOur annual Lyrebird survey is coming up on Saturday May 30th. The meeting place is at the Tarra Bulga National Park Visitors Centre at 6.15 am. On arrival the recording process is explained and people are allocated to various monitoring points around the Bulga Park area.

The survey begins at sunrise with the first Lyrebird calls and only takes around half an hour. Following the morning chorus, a free cooked breakfast is on offer at the Tarra-Bulga Guest House. If you would like to come along you need to contact us (by Wednesday May the 27th on 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com. Wear warm clothing, a parka, bring a watch, a torch and compass (optional).

Can you spare Tarra-Bulga a bit of time?

Weekends are busy times with lots of important stuff to do like shopping, housework, playing/watching sport, sleeping in etc, but why not put all that on hold tomorrow and join us at our working bee.

The Friends of Tarra-Bulga National Park are seeking volunteers on Saturday April 18th to help with some weeding and preparation for an upcoming planting day.

The worksite is along Diaper Tk and getting there will involve a scenic 3km walk. The work involves rehabilitating a site where a major infestation of Sycamore Maple was discovered several years ago. The site is quite overgrown with re-growth scrub and as well as looking for weeds to pull we will be clearing new tracks to allow easier access for a tree planting planned in July.

The meeting point is at the park visitors’ centre at 9am. You will need to take a cut lunch and your own drink. For further details phone David on 0488 035 314 or email friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com

Come and help us turn this scenic but scrubby site back into towering Mountain Ash Forest

Come and help us turn this scenic but scrubby site back into towering Mountain Ash Forest

Working Bee (Tutsan and Sycamore Maple) – Saturday March 21st.

 Our first group activity for the year will be held at a site in the park along Tarra Valley Rd that we have been working on for nearly a decade now. Initially we started tackling a serious infestation of Sycamore Maple, which is a tree that can be very invasive, it has light papery seeds that disperse in the wind, it can grow in shade and then potentially become a large tree. Over the years we have pulled out hundreds of new seedlings that have spread into the park and cut out and killed many larger saplings.

Photo of Tutsan

Tutsan with some fruit ready to spread more seed into the park.

We have now been successful at getting the Maple fairly well controlled and we have now also started on another weed (Tutsan) that is established at the site. Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum) is a perennial shrub that grows to about 1.5m tall, it is related to St John’s Wort and is noted as being a serious threat to damp and wet schlerophyll forests. We have received a Communities for Nature grant to assist our efforts that will be used to fund contractors to spray the larger infestations as well as to purchase some hand tools and chemical to support our efforts.

We will be holding a working bee at the site on Saturday March the 21st. The meeting point will be at the Tarra Valley Car Park at 9.30am. Like many of our working bees’ the terrain will be steep and lots of scrambling through undergrowth will be required. Tools will be available but if you have your own favourite gloves or loppers please bring them along. Following the work we will have a free BBQ lunch provided down at the Fernholme Caravan Park (at around 1pm). If you are able to come along please call or email David Akers (0488 035 314) or friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com preferably by March the 18th so we know how much food to buy.

Hand Direct Seeding Trial to Combat Hungry Wallabies.

Grazing Swamp Wallabies are a huge hurdle to successfully growing new trees in sections of Tarra-Bulga National Park. Hard lessons have been learnt, 1000’s of trees have been planted, but experience has shown that even if they are hidden or planted among unpalatable species the Wallabies will eventually find them and eat them.  Regular tree-guards have proven to be of little use, they may protect the plant for a short while but Wallabies will chew any growth at the top of the guards that they can reach, the plant will remain stunted and eventually die. A commercially available Wallaby repellent mixture  can be sprayed on new growth to protect it, but that is labor intensive and requires regular follow up to have any chance of success, not a viable task in our situation with limited time and rough terrain to encounter . The only strategy that does seem to work for us is to use large wire mesh tree-guards which are expensive and very labor intensive to install and eventually remove once the trees have grown big enough..

Why do we think direct seeding might be a solution? Nursery grown tube-stock are generally grown in ideal conditions, with fertiliser, controlled sunlight and regular watering, as a result the leaves are highly palatable. Plants that germinate from seed on sites should be tougher, slower growing and as a result have less tasty foliage. Mountain Ash along with other species of Eucalyptus seeds are very small, one gram of Mountain Ash seed contains nearly 200 viable seeds. For our trial we have 390 grams of Mt Ash seed, if all of them germinate we would have almost 80,000 seedlings scattered over the site. That is clearly an optimistic outcome but hopefully we can get a good germination strike rate and some of those tiny little seedlings can overcome the Wallabies and other forces of nature to successfully grow into mature trees. We will keep you posted.