Work to protect endangered species at Lake Benanee

Exclusion fence and apron design is set to protect Casuarina obesa from overgrazing.

Exclusion fence and apron design is set to protect Casuarina obesa from overgrazing.

Fence upgrades and rabbit control works have secured the future of the last known population of Casuarina obesa, commonly known as Swamp She-oak, in NSW.

The population at Lake Benanee had come under threat after an exclusion fence had begun to deteriorate. Western Local Land Services employed an indigenous natural resource management business to undertake fence maintenance and upgrades, as well rabbit control works, which initial estimates suggest have reduced the local rabbit population by 80 per cent.

Western Local Land Services Senior Land Services Officer, Kade Small was ecstatic with the outcomes that have been achieved.

The fence line before recent restoration work.

The fence line before recent restoration work.

“It is great to have the fence restored and to further increase exclusion, a larger apron design that prevents rabbits from digging under the fence was used,” Mr Small said. 

“The apron design involves a length of the mesh or material that is used in the fence, running along the ground which prevents rabbits and other animals from digging under the fence or at the base of it and causing further damage. 

“Techniques such as this will likely assist the Swamp She-oak population recruit as suckers (new plants shooting from the roots of existing trees) have been heavily grazed in recent years. 

“Being the last known population in the state it was very important this work was carried out and we are hoping it will continue to replenish the population into the future.”

While the fence upgrade and rabbit control works have been completed, Western Local Land Services will continue to monitor the site for any changes to the exclusion fence or condition of Swamp She-oak.  

If you have a natural resource management issue you’d like to raise, please contact your nearest Western Local Land Services office or visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au/western for further information.

This project was funded through Catchment Action NSW.

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