BDBSA Project Metadata Detail

Survey/Project Number: 651          Total No. of Sites: 25
Survey/Project Name: Plant indicators for assessment of feral goat control
Abstract: South Australian Arid Lands (SAAL) NRM Board announced a Feral Goat Management Framework in November 2008, focusing on a reduction in populations. A control program (aerial culling, trapping, mustering) was implemented in Autum 2009 (as adjunct to the usual Feral Goat Eradication of Operation Bounceback) on select properties that had opted for inclusion in the control program. Project timelines meant that the ecological monitoring component attached to the project could not report on the success of the controls, but that it could evaluate plant indicator species that may be informative of goat browsing impacts. Project was carried out over Arid and Semi-Arid Range country including Flinders, Olary and Gawlers. With a need to describe the habitats/communities where feral goat impacts were being measured, a vegetation survey was added to the ecological monitoring component. Again funding and time restrictions, meant only small parts of the controlled areas could be evaluated and emphasis was placed on the elevated, semi-arid, rocky ranges for various reasons.
 
Start Date: 01/05/2009      End Date: 01/10/2009
Survey Type: Vegetation and Vertebrates
   
Study Area Description: Survey was confined to Pitcairn Station (Olary Ra), Yadlamalka Station (Flinders Ra), Yardea Station (Gawler Ra) with emphasis on elevated rocky ranges in particular portions of the Stations. On Pitcairn Station, sites are in elevated areas west and south of the Station House, while on Yadlamalka, sites are located in high ridge country north of Mt Arden. On Yardea, sites are concentrated in high country extending from North-west to south of Thurlga Homestead, confined to the Thurlga Lease.
Objectives
         Vegetation: Principal objective of the project was to establish indicators for monitoring impacts of feral goats on vegetation in order to assess the effectiveness of feral goat control activities, both in the long and short term. Vegetation survey was required to describe the plant communities/habitats in which browse impacts evaluated could be attributed entirely to feral goats. By coincidence, the areas chosen for evaluation included semi-arid ranges that had not been included in previous surveys, so vegetation survey had the additional aim of improving information base in areas poorly described.
         Fauna: *** No fauna survey objectives recorded
Methodology
         Vegetation: Methodology followed the rapid Vegetation Mapping Site method with a slight variation to include species that were being monitored for browsing pressure plus any additional species of interest. Cover abundance scores were taken from an adapted Braun Blanquet scale. Generally only plants that had a cover abundance in the Braun Blanquet scale of between 1and 5 were recorded (1 = plentiful, but of small cover (less than 5%) and 5 = greater than 75% cover). Occasionally other species with a lower abundance were recorded if they presented good collection material or were being monitored for regrowth after the goat reduction exercise.
         Fauna: *** No vertebrate methodology recorded

Data Distribution Rules: Public
Project Basis: Vegetation : Monitoring - Vegetation/Ecosystem (ie species records - usually re-visited for ongoing monitoring) NOTE:NON Std Svy methodology may have been used.
Information Authority: Department for Environment and Heritage (BDBSA:Misc)