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Riverina Sandhill Woodlands

Revegetating Threatened Riverina Sandhill Woodland Communities

DOWNLOAD Revegetation and management guide for Sandhills of the Riverina of NSW (2019) HERE

The ANPC is proudly collaborating with Greening Australia on this project funded by the NSW Environmental Trust to revegetate the threatened Riverina Sandhill Woodland communities in south west NSW.

Sandhill Pine Woodland in the Riverina, Murray–Darling Depression & NSW South Western Slopes Bioregions (Sandhill Pine Woodland) is listed as a NSW endangered ecological community (EEC) under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. Prior to European settlement the area of Sandhill Pine Woodland was estimated at 76,200 ha but now, somewhere between 25–60% of the original distribution is classified as very poor condition remnant. Logging, grazing and altered fire regimes first impacted the Sandhill Pine Woodlands when extensive areas were settled circa 1850’s. Ever since, farming induced disturbances have continually impacted on the ecological function and stability of the plant community with the additional environmental effects of drought. Without a collaborative effort to revegetate and stabilise these sandhills, listed EEC threats will continue. Impacts are small scale clearing leading to more fragmentation, loss of large old trees due to logging, thinning or total elimination of palatable trees and shrubs through grazing by domestic livestock and feral herbivores (chiefly rabbits and goats), soil erosion, weed invasion and biodiversity loss (flora and fauna).

Sandhill Pine Woodland is dominated by White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) and is characterised by an open tree stratum, which may be reduced to isolated individuals or may be absent as a result of past clearing. The tree layer is dominated by C. glaucophylla, either in pure stands or with a range of other less abundant trees or tall shrubs. The structure and species composition of the community varies depending on disturbance history and variability in rainfall.

The four aims of the project are to:

1. Address critical seed supply shortages needed for revegetation. With diminished native seed reserves in -situ there is no other option other than to reintroduce endemic species and rebuild seed reserves.

2. Test a range of revegetation techniques on a combined 120ha of Sandhill Pine Woodland.

3. Leverage capacity and expertise across research, land users and revegetation practitioners; building partnerships to challenge traditional technical, practical, cultural and economic thinking around revegetation for Sandhill application.

4. Deliver three field days and produce a revegetation guide factsheet to increase knowledge and skill in direct seeding, pest animal control and weed management practices