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Recording our environmental health

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Recording our environmental health
Published 8 December 2016
An environmental program recording the region's native plant species is having other benefits.

An environmental program recording the region's native plant species is having other benefits. Volunteers recording native plant species across the City of Playford are also noting habitat trees for birds such as rainbow lorikeets. Eighteen volunteers are continuing to record the health of our local reserves and map the distribution of native plant species within the City of Playford and you can take part as well by alerting Council to any sighting of pest weeds.

The volunteers, comprising local residents and TAFE and university students studying environmental science, have so far surveyed over 1200 quadrats (50m x 50m quadrats).

The project, surveying 821 hectares of reserves, and creek lines, provides the City of Playford with important data about the condition of native vegetation in the local area and the location of priority pest weeds.

City of Playford Environment Officer Renae Williams said other environmental features are also being mapped.

“Volunteers are identifying current and potential habitat trees for native animals, which our hollow-dependent bird species, like the local rainbow lorikeets, rely on,” Ms Williams said.

“This time of year is also a good time for identifying native grasses, as the seed head is developed. Relatively common local species you may see are wallaby and spear grasses.

“For many of our volunteers, the project is providing valuable practical experience in plant identification and how to carry out a vegetation survey – which is a good complement to their university course.”

Recording detailsAs part of the project, each volunteer team is provided with a GIS tablet that shows their location within the survey area, aerial imagery and a survey form.

This tablet allows them to record plant details and upload data onto maps in the office, in real time.

You can contribute to the City of Playford’s knowledge of where pest weeds are located by reporting sightings.

At this time of year, silverleaf nightshade, caltrop and calomba daisy are starting to appear.

If you see this weed, please advise Council’s Customer Care team (8256 0333).

The biodiversity mapping information will be used by the City of Playford in a variety of ways, including planning, the frequency of mowing and prioritisation of weed management.

For more information, contact Renae Williams (8256 0576 or rwilliams@playford.sa.gov.au). This time of year is also a good time for identifying native grasses, as the seed head is well formed and almost ready to drop seed. Common native species you may see are Wallaby and Spear grasses.