Project Evaluation

Sustainable grazing in North East and North Central Victorian Box Gum grassy woodlands

Striking a balance between conserving biodiversity and production grazing is the subject of numerous on-going investigations. The Commonwealth funded (‘Caring for our Country’) project: “Improving Threatened Grassy Woodlands of Northern Victoria”, is one of the latest examples, whereby landholders are granted financial incentives to restructure their grazing practices to be more biodiversity-friendly. Rotational grazing is designed to better focus grazing pressure and allow routine resting to encourage native pasture as well as the regeneration of remnant trees, shrubs and wildflowers at the expense of weeds. This work involved an independent evaluation of how well the measures rolled out actually improved the plight of significant remnant grassy woodlands on over 30 private properties across northern Victoria. Examples of some of the key questions addressed by the field-based evaluation included: Risks and opportunities for ecological grazing? Is stock grazing appropriate given biodiversity objectives and the nature of the site? On-ground evidence of any change in key biodiversity values since commencement of agreements? and Have the biodiversity objectives been met?

The evaluation results will contribute to an improvement in government policy and in particular how similar projects are designed and implemented in the future.