29 Oct 2017 Summing up recent wetland restoration tours of Glenshera Swamp, Stipiturus CP

On the 24th and 25th of September, NGT’s Mark Bachmann and Ben Taylor teamed up with DEWNR’s Randall Johnson to guide visitors around some of the recent restoration works at Stipiturus Conservation Park, 6 km west of Mount Compass.

NGT's Ben Taylor kicks of the restoration tour with participants on Monday 25th of September

NGT’s Ben Taylor kicks off one of the restoration tours at Stipiturus CP

Stipiturus contains most of Glenshera Swamp, the largest and most intact Fleurieu Peninsula Swamp (nationally critically endangered ecological community) remaining. With some overnight rain on the 24th, visitors on the 25th were treated to a beautiful sunny and calm spring day with a boost to flows entering the swamp through the recently restored creek line. The weirs constructed by NGT with volunteer help earlier this year were working nicely, directing flows through natural meanders, creating aquatic habitat and, by slowing flows, likely improving water quality entering the swamp.

Importantly, all low to moderate inflows are now making their way directly into the heart of the swamp, rather than bypassing it as was the case prior to restoration. The effects were obvious, with extensive surface water in areas that were dry at the same time last year, despite the wet winter and spring of 2016. Expert botanist Clive Chesson pointed out aquatic plant species, such as Triglochin alcockiae, appearing for the first time amongst a formerly drier area of sedges and exotic pasture grasses. We were thrilled to see healthy looking specimens of Olearia glandulosa (SA vulnerable) clearly enjoying the wetter conditions. In time, the wetter conditions should lead to more positive changes.

Inspecting the part of the swamp where discharges from the creek are expected to transform the habitat over time.

Clive Chesson, Mark Bachmann, Jacqui Best and Paul Wainwright inspecting the part of the swamp where reinstated flows from the creek are expected to transform this area of degraded habitat over time.

If you are keen to learn about some of what we discussed on the day, then please download and read a pdf copy of the restoration tour handout here: Stipiturus CP Tour Handout – Sept 2017 – Final.

NGT’s next challenge at “Stipi” is to work with Natural Resources – AMLR in trying to displace a monoculture of common reed (Phragmites australis) with the diverse swamp vegetation community more favourable for threatened species. A prescribed burn at the Reserve on the 4th of October has knocked the Phragmites about and opened a window of opportunity for control.

Ben Taylor
Ben Taylor
ben.taylor@natureglenelg.org.au