The Ruabon-Tutunup corridor is one of only two Swan Coastal Plain vegetation linkages remaining in the South West, linking the Jarrah Forest of the Whicher Scarp to the Ramsar-listed Vasse-Wonnerup Wetlands.
The corridor has significant ecological values, providing critical habitat that facilitates the movement of species within and across the landscape, and containing occurrences of the Busselton Ironstone Threatened Ecological Community (TEC).
The Ruabon-Tutunup Corridor project draws on the Management Plan for the Ruabon-Tutunup Rail Reserve to implement key management activities to protect and enhance conservation values. The project aims to achieve this through targeted weed control of species including watsonia, arum lily, African lovegrass and kikuyu, as well as through revegetation of priority sites to improve habitat connectivity and prevent the re-establishment of weed populations. It also aims to reduce the damage caused by pest animals, in particular rabbits.
Another key management priority is reducing fuel loads in the reserve through controlled burns. Consultation with neighbouring landholders has revealed a strong community desire for this. A fire management committee has been established in response to help guide the prescribed burning component of the project. As a result, two prescribed burns have been undertaken by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, in conjunction with the City of Busselton and Parks and Wildlife.
In 2014-15, 142.5 hectares have been treated for rabbits, 3.6 hectares revegetated across three sites and 104 hectares of weed control undertaken. Aboriginal enterprise in NRM has also been supported, with NEEDAC Ltd engaged to undertake revegetation on private property.
A technical steering committee has been established with key stakeholders to guide the project and provide technical expertise. In addition, an annual newsletter has been developed and provided to all neighbouring landholders in 2014-15, to increase their knowledge of the importance of the reserve and to advise them of planned activities.
Further weed control is planned along the length of the reserve and sections that have been burned, to ensure the fuel load is managed appropriately into the future and to enhance the health of the vegetation.
“The site was prepared and planted in June 2014 with infill planting occurring this year, and the plants have taken very well. As it was a very degraded site, a range of treatments were trialled to see what was the most effective method for establishing native vegetation cover. Special thanks to Rina Mattinson and SWCC who inspired and facilitated funding for the project.”
Will Oldfield, City of Busselton.
The Ruabon-Tutunup corridor is 100 metres across at its widest point and stretches for 16km, with a road running down the middle, making it particularly vulnerable to threats and edge effects.
- City of Busselton
1 ha treated for pest animal control
142.5ha treated for pest animal control
90.5ha protected through weed control
104ha protected through weed control