Ecological burning to recover Cassinia tegulata in South Australia (Part 3)

The global population of Avenue Cassinia (Cassinia tegulata) has received a further boost in management this past autumn with an ecological burn being carried out at the Blackford site. Avenue Cassinia is known to occur at just a handful of sites in our region, and NGT has been involved in boosting the population of the species since 2015, first by growing and planting out more individuals, and more recently with the use of fire to promote regeneration.

The assistance of the Lacepede Group Officer and Kingston Brigade was vital in successfully completing the recent burn of a small section of roadside vegetation. You can read more about the early phases of this program in previous posts, including the  prominent flowering event  in 2018, and the burn of the Avenue population in spring 2019.

The NGT team set up photopoints to monitor the sites pre- and post-fire. At Avenue we also installed grazing exclosures to reduce the impact of herbivores. Below is an example photopoint at Blackford (before and after). We use photopoints at many of our project sites as they are useful for detecting and visually documenting measured changes in the landscape as photos are taken from the same position over time.

Photopoint images from the Blackford site (left) before and (right) after the ecological burn on May 13th 2020

A short video summarising the Blackford burn is shown below, showcasing the narrow firebreak we installed shortly before the burn.  The video also clearly shows the low to moderate intensity of the burn.

We look forward to visiting the Avenue and Blackford sites in spring 2020 to search for (and count) new plants. If anyone would like to tag along, please get in touch.

Nature Glenelg Trust would also like to thank OneFortyOne for their financial support allowing us to continue this important work for Avenue Cassinia.

Bryan Haywood