The Gippsland Plains, extending from the Latrobe Valley in the west to Bairnsdale in the east, features some of the region’s most productive farmland.
Through having been extensively cleared for agriculture, the remnant native vegetation across the plain is scarce and highly fragmented (in 2007, 83% of patches were less than 10 ha). This remnant vegetation includes three communities that are considered to be critically endangered under the EPBC Act. For example, one of those communities, the Gippsland Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Associated Native Grassland ecological community, has less than five per cent of its original coverage, despite previously being the most common and widespread native vegetation in the area.
The two other EPBC listed communities found on the plain that are also listed as critically endangered are Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains and White Box-Yellow Box-Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland. There are also many endangered flora and fauna species found on the plain.
Project Objective: The long-term objective for the management of the Gippsland Plain is to increase the ecological functionality of the native vegetation by protecting and improving the quality of remnants. This will mean that the vegetation community and its associated flora and fauna are more resilient to on-going threats (invasive weeds, pest animals) and to climate change or other shocks. The vegetation will have base-level protection in place (such as stock exclusion), and the remnants will be better connected to each other across the landscape via strategic plantings in areas such as riparian zones.