Extract from Grampians National Park Newsletter

Park staff produce a most informative newsletter each season, with information about what is happening with plants and animals plus Park news and updates. It’s too long to include in full here but here are some extracts.

Road maintenance: Mount Zero Road is in the process of being graded. A long, dry summer followed by winter rains has led to lots of potholes and corrugation. Be cautious when travelling this
road as operations to repair the surface continue. Be sure to check the weekly road report and monthly park access update on the Grampians page on www.parks.vic.gov.au.

Annual goat monitoring: Rangers have been working hard conducting feral goat monitoring to gain a better understanding of their population size in the Grampians National Park. Feral goats cause significant harm to environmental and cultural values in the park. Impacts include compaction
and erosion from their hard hooves. Their browsing techniques are also damaging to the native flora and they compete with native fauna for resources. Once analysed, the monitoring data will be vital to ongoing and future management of this invasive species. If you are interested in helping land managers, the app FeralScan is a citizen science initiative that enables people to record sightings of several different feral species. Visit the website or download the app to get involved. feralscan.org.au/

Winter ecological burning: Ecological burns recently took place in the heathlands around Lynches and Syphon Track in Southern Grampians. Occurring in winter, these burns are low intensity meaning they trickle through this highly flammable vegetation type leaving behind a patchwork of burnt and unburnt vegetation. Low intensity burns of this kind are an important tool for creating diversity in both the vegetation type and age, which in turn supports a greater diversity in fauna species.

It is hoped that species such as Potoroos, Bandicoots and Heath mice will particularly benefit from this method of land management. These winter ecological burns also proved to be a great training opportunity for South West
fire crews.

Do you want help identifying species in the field? Download Museums Victoria Field Guide App: museumsvictoria.com.au/apps/field-guide-app-to-victorian-fauna/

Grampians Peaks Trail: Track clearing and construction is progressing in sections in the north and south. In the south there are some areas of particularly challenging terrain where we will have steel stairs to allow safe hiking; these are currently being designed. Finalising the key design elements and preparation for constructing the hiker camps is in full swing. Designed to respond to each site’s individual landscape, a light touch will be applied to construction with minimal vegetation clearance and disturbance to the environment. Materials in the area will be used where possible to build seating and other camp elements, ensuring harm and introduced assets are kept to a minimum. Tent pads and boardwalks will be in place to protect the flora and fauna underneath, and each camp is orientated to take best advantage of the view over Gariwerd, and using the natural peaks to provide protection from the elements.

Come autumn 2020, you can walk along precipices, wind through creek beds, climb hand carved stone steps and be dwarfed by the grandeur of rock formations and the ancient landscape. You’ll be able to choose from two new multi-day walks, a two-night / three-day section in the north, or a two-day/two-night section in the south, either as an independent walker, or as part of a signature experience offer. Check grampianspeakstrail.com.au for trail details.

Upcoming Events and Activities
For upcoming events and activities in the park please see the What’s On section on the Grampians National Park page at parks.vic.gov.au  The upcoming September school holiday program will feature an exciting range of Junior Ranger activities such as a Bicycle Scavenger Hunt, Compass Challenge, All Fired Up and Minibeast Discovery. Two Ranger Guided walks will also take place featuring waterfalls, historic sites and prominent features. Visit juniorrangers.com.au/ for up to date information and bookings.• Junior Ranger activity sheets are available from Brambuk.

Venus Baths Climate Watch Trail. Visit
climatewatch.org.au/trails/grampians-national-parkvenus-baths for more information.

Volunteering: Volunteering with Parks Victoria is a great way to contribute to conserving Victoria’s special places and help others do the same. To find out more visit: parkweb.vic.gov.au/get-involved/volunteer

Maybe:

  • Become a Campground Host during the Christmas and New Year period.
  • Volunteer as a Walking Track Ranger over the Cup Weekend or Christmas holiday period.
  • Become a trained Sherpa and join the Sherpa Volunteer Program.

There are also volunteering opportunities through the Victorians Volunteering for Nature -Environmental Volunteering Plan https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/home/victorians-volunteering-for-nature   or email the Environmental Volunteering team at