Grassland conservation

Northern Plains Grassland Technical Advisory Group Chair and Strategic Directions plan

Over the last four years, Paul has chaired a Technical Advisory Group established to guide the conservation and stewardship of one of Victoria’s most threatened ecosystems – the Northern Plains Grasslands of the Victorian Riverina. In particular the Technical Advisory Group has been instrumental in advising Parks Victoria and Trust for Nature on conservation management across the network of relatively new grassland reserves mostly in the Lower Avoca region (between Quambatook and the Kerang Lakes – the so called ‘Wanderers Plain’) and the Patho Plains region (between Echuca and Mitiamo including Terrick Terrick National Park).

Some of the key achievements of the Technical Advisory Group include:

  • Assisting with the structuring and production of the Strategic Directions plan (June 2010) outlining the principles of Northern Plains Grassland conservation management;
  • The formation of an operational sub-group who lead the production of a Strategic Operational Plan designed to guide reserve managers in the implementation of the Strategic Direction principles at the paddock level;
  • Establishment of an integrated monitoring program designed to both support paddock-level decision making and the evaluation of longer term landscape-scale ecological outcomes for species like Hooded Scaly-foot, Plains-wanderer and Swainson-peas; and
  • Leading the nomination and successful listing of the Northern Plains Grassland community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) as the ‘Natural Grasslands of the Murray Valley Plains’.