Project update – October 2022
It’s been just over a year since Ginninderra was decommissioned for agricultural research activities. Since then, we’ve continued to actively manage the site and conduct ongoing ecological and urban sustainability research with our partners.
In the last nine months we’ve had 741.5mm of rain at Ginninderra, including the highest ever recorded rainfall for a single day of 85.6mm on Thursday 4 August. The conservation areas are looking good from all of the rainfall, with the turtles particularly loving the wet weather. We’re expecting good spring growth as a result.
The Blakely’s Red Gum provenance trial to test the performance of local and exotic provenances of the species is underway. Ginninderra is one of three trial sites in the ACT as part of a collaboration between the ACT Government, CSIRO and Greening Australia. Recent pictures of the trial at Ginninderra are shown below.
We recently planted 30 Mongarlowe Mallee (Eucalyptus recurva) tubestock plants. We lost 6 trees and the remaining 24 have extremely wet feet, but they are expected to thrive when spring arrives.
Micah Davies, Senior Experimental Scientist from CSIRO’s Land and Water team, and Alex Drew, Senior Research Technician for the Australian National Wildlife Collection, oversee the ongoing ecological monitoring at the site’s box gum grassy woodlands. In autumn, they carried out monitoring on the response of woodland birds to the restoration of critical mid storey habitat in the Box Gum conservation areas. This monitoring is carried out each spring and autumn. The new shrub habitat was planted by members of the local community in 2017 and 2018 and this new patchy mosaic of shrubs has been growing well (now over 4-5m in height) and has brought back important foraging, nesting and breeding sites for the smaller woodland birds including the Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang) which is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the ACT.
In recent months, we have been removing buildings from the former Ginninderra Experiment Station that are no longer required. The majority were at Ginninderra East, with one building also being removed from Ginninderra West. This work is nearing completion and will help prepare Ginninderra East for proposed sustainable future development. None of the works occurred within identified conservation areas, however special measures were in place to ensure protection of trees and sensitive vegetation proximate to these works.