The Ruabon-Tutunup rail corridor has significant ecological values and needs protection, as it is one of only two Swan Coastal Plain vegetation linkages remaining in the South West.
The corridor provides habitat that facilitates the movement of species within and across the landscape and it contains occurrences of the Busselton Ironstone Threatened Ecological Community, as well as threatened flora and fauna species.
This project aims to protect and enhance the conservation values of the Ruabon-Tutunuprail corridor through targeted weed control,as well as through undertaking revegetation of priority sites to improve habitat connectivity and to prevent the re-establishment of weed populations. It also aims to reduce the damage caused by pest animals in particular rabbits, and to reduce fuel loads in the reserve by conducting a number of small prescribed burns.
A total of 31.5ha of weed treatment was undertaken by a local contractor who targeted six major weed species including Watsonia, Arum Lily, African lovegrass, Couch, Kikuyu and Babiana. A prescribed burn was also undertaken to further reduce fuel loads.
Rabbit control was conducted in Autumn 2016 with 20 sites along the corridor baited. Post control monitoring showed a 75-85% reduction in rabbit populations along the corridor, which is a great result and should see an improvement in natural regeneration along the corridor.
Three sites had infill planting and/or revegetation undertaken with 5.2ha of revegetation and infill planting with 3,306 seedlings undertaken to improve connectivity along the corridor.
An annual newsletter was posted to all neighbouring landholders advising them of activities that occurred throughout the year and to improve their knowledge of the importance of the rail corridor. Six-monthly Technical Reference Group meetings have been held with key stakeholders to prioritise future works and discuss management actions for the corridor into the future.
“The rehabilitation and fencing work undertaken through the project have been important to enhance the environmental values of the corridor and continuation of works will be beneficial.”
Andrew Webb (Regional Flora Conservation Officer, Department of Parks & Wildlife).
This project will be continuing into the future. Further weed control will be undertaken along the reserve, in particular in the sections that underwent a prescribed burn in 2016, to ensure the weed load is managed into the future. Further infill planting at previous revegetation sites will also be undertaken to further improve vegetation condition.
The Ruabon Tutunup Corridor is the only one of two remaining vegetated corridors from the coast across to the Darling plateau on the Swan Coastal Plain.
30ha of weed treatment
31.5ha of weed treatment
139.4ha of pest animal control
139.4ha of pest animal control (rabbit control)