Revegetation Work Rescues Forest

January 17, 2018

Mabi revegetation Atherton TablelandsNationally-threatened Mabi forest has been given a new lease of life thanks to community group Barron Catchment Care.

Volunteers recently completed a two-year revegetation rescue project that brought remnant Mabi forest back from an overgrown tangle of exotic vines and weeds.

Mabi forest only occurs on the Atherton Tablelands and is one of the most threatened vegetation types in the Wet Tropics.

Only four per cent of the original forest now exists and it has been listed as a critically-endangered ecological community.

Barron Catchment Care stepped in when revegetation experts and landholders identified a need for weed control on Mabi revegetation sites.

The group’s coordinator, Ian Sinclair, said the older revegetation sites were becoming heavily overgrown with guinea grass and glycine, which is a vine that can destroy understorey vegetation.

“There is only 1050 ha of forest left, and it’s in a series of small, isolated patches,’’ Mr Sinclair said.

“Many of the remnant patches of Mabi Forest are being invaded by exotic smothering vines. The landholders were unable to manage the reveg sites on their own due to work and family commitments.”

“Rescuing revegetation sites needs a high level of expertise. Nobody wanted the efforts of all the volunteers who had been involved in the original site plantings, or the precious revegetation resources being wasted.”

Terrain is able to support this important work through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. Barron Catchment Care received funding from Terrain NRM to work with contractors North Queensland Land Management Services (NQLMS).

“The financial support from Terrain NRM was essential – it enabled us to engage NQLMS to bring these Mabi planting sites back from an overgrown tangle to thriving revegetation sites,’’ Mr Sinclair said.

“It’s not a glamorous kind of job, and took a huge team effort. Finding the planted trees amongst 3-metre high tangles of weeds is not that easy! The next step was a lot of stomping, spraying, cutting and hand pulling. The NQLMS crew worked closely with a really motivated Green Army team that Terrain managed – these extra hands make a big difference.”

“This project further confirmed what we already knew. Any revegetation project must include a maintenance component. Thanks to Terrain and the high level of expertise of NQLMS these two project sites are now looking great.

“The landholders, the Bonadios and the Kilpatricks, are keen to keep on revegetating their land. In fact, Barron Catchment Care and the Kilpatrick family were recently successful in obtaining funding under the State Government ‘Community Sustainability Action’ grant to undertake further reveg and weed control on their property.”