Mount Rothwell Biodiversity SolutionsVictoria's largest predator-free ecosystem
In addition to being a registered offset site, Mt Rothwell is a conservation and research reserve in Little River, approximately 65kms west of Melbourne CBD. Mt Rothwell’s mission is to protect the remnant habitat and restore the natural ecosystems to foster indigenous, high conservation value flora and fauna communities.
Boasting Victoria’s largest predator-free ecosystem, Mt Rothwell is home to some of Australia’s most threatened fauna, including the Eastern Quoll, Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
We visited Mt Rothwell during one of our recent field trips where we were lucky enough to be a part of the release of 8 Eastern Barred Bandicoots into the conservation reserve. Due to habitat degradation and predators, EBBs are extinct in the wild. These 8 EBBs are part of an outcrossing program that were strategically crossed with the Tasmanian sub-species, widening their gene pool to increase their fitness and adaptive potential. This outcrossing concept is also being applied to Mt Rothwell’s Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby program where they are being outcrossed with their Central sub-species.
Funds received from the sale of native vegetation credits have been applied to a stringent offset management plan. They have completely eradicated woody weeds, such as African Boxthorn, from the entire property, reduced the Serrated Tussock cover from 90% of the grassland to less than 1% across the entire property, removed rabbits entirely from 155ha, maintained a predator proof fence, controlled and reduced the spread of Galenia, Chilean Needle Grass, thistles and Horehound and have also prevented the establishment of Paterson’s Curse and Boneseed.
You can book a public or private guided ‘creatures of the night’ spotlight tour to see some of the country’s most threatened species for yourself. For more information of the incredible work done at Mt Rothwell, please visit www.mtrothwell.com.au
Photographs generously provided by Sam Marwood of Odonata