Environmental experts have backflipped on whether grazing is detrimental for the endangered Plains Wanderer bird.November 23, 2012 4:11am
Local landholders who say their advice on the endangered Plains Wanderer bird was ignored have been vindicated.
Environmental experts have done a major backflip, after a decade of declaring that grazing was bad for the endangered bird.
In Victoria, sheep are now being released into National Parks to try and eat down overgrown Plains Wanderer habitat, which has been abandoned by the tiny bird.
North Conargo Land Management Group chair Colin Bull said farmers were ‘‘treated like fools’’ when ecologists began implementing conservation efforts.
‘‘Landholders knew nothing, according to the scientific ‘experts’, however now we have proven we are not as silly as they believed,’’ he said.
‘‘In the future, government departments should make sure they respect landholder knowledge and local experience.’’
A large amount of local land has been identified as Plains Wanderer habitat, particularly in north Conargo, and different conservation efforts have affected local properties since the late 1990s.
Among them was the purchase and de-stocking of Carrathool property ‘Oolambeyan’, and restrictions on development and locust spraying.
Conargo Mayor Norm Brennan believes NSW paid about $4 million to purchase ‘Oolambeyan’, which was de-stocked and converted to a National Park.
Mr Bull said National Parks and Wildlife Service is now having ‘‘great difficulty’’ finding Plains Wanderers in Oolambeyan, due to its management policy.
‘‘Although some grazing is now allowed it is too little too late,’’ he said.
Experts say the Plains Wanderers have left the areas where grazing has been stopped, because the vegetation is overgrown and does not suit them.
It is the very thing that local landholders said would happen years ago.
In fact, the ecologist they told was Dr David Baker-Gabb.
He is now Victoria’s ‘leading expert on Plains Wanderers’ - and the very man who has admitted he cannot find Plains-Wanderers on de-stocked Victorian land.
Mr Bull said at the time, Dr Baker-Gabb ‘‘wouldn’t listen to landholders’’.
‘‘The situation was handled very, very badly. NPWS used the big stick approach rather than working with landholders,’’ he said.
‘‘They put everyone off-side - to the detriment of the Plains Wanderer.
‘‘Landholders are more than happy to look out for the Plains Wanderer and enhance their survival and numbers.
‘‘It is a sad situation when the scientific community believe they have all the answers for species such as the Plains Wanderer.’’
However, Mr Bull said recent consultations with the NPWS were encouraging and suggested a common sense outcome can be achieved.
Farmers have also been restricted on where and how they spray locusts due to the Plains Wanderer, according to Cr Brennan.
He said during locust plagues, crops were lost because of the restrictions.
Some Plains Wanderers were sent to the University of Wollongong, to be bred and tested to see how locust sprays affect them.
However, Cr Brennan said six years later, their questions are still unanswered.
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.