Two Wells, Lewiston and Districts Landcare Group with Mark Webb
MY friend Scott recently took this photo of a young sand goanna, which is now living on his property, near Camel Track in Lewiston.
It is one of our region’s last remaining reserves and boasts some magnificent examples of the original vegetation.
Goannas are our last remaining large, native, terrestrial predator in SA.
There are 28 species of goannas in Australia. Goannas are mainly terrestrial predators that are generally active during the day; they feed on carrion, mice, rats, rabbits, insects and spiders, so having a goanna on your property will keep many pests under control.
Our local sand goannas need help and to do this you can:
• Be a responsible pet owner by keeping pet cats indoors and dogs on leads
• When driving, slow down for goannas to let them cross the road safely
• Be mindful around road kill, which may attract goannas onto the road
• Leave valuable habitat like fallen trees, logs and smaller timber in the bush and on grazing land
• Get involved in local restoration and revegetation programs to help increase habitat and connect remnant bushland
Due to extensive land clearing by our first settlers in the early 1900s resulted in an estimated three per cent of original vegetation left on the Adelaide Plains. Farmers were required to clear their land for farming purposes by the governments of the day. We know now the clearing of our farmlands has come at great environmental, economic and social costs to many of our communities.
I have worked in several of our local schools and, with the support of our Landcare group, we have been able to work with teaching staff and students on a number of environmental projects focusing on bringing back native vegetation and wildlife to our region. I am now working as a trainer in conservation land management/horticulture (Paraworklinks); with the support of my new work colleagues and students we are now a volunteer grower for Trees for Life.
A volunteer grower grows native seedlings for a landholder or a revegetation project. The great thing about this program is Trees for Life provides all the materials and support you need to grow your seedlings. Propagating seeds and tending the seedlings until planting time is a learning experience that will stay with you forever.
Planting local species will improve the quality of our land by improving soil structure, lowering the water table and combating pests by attracting more native birds and animals to our properties, all resulting in better biodiversity and a more balanced ecosystem.
Volunteer growers are always needed, for more information on Trees for Life visit www.treesforlife.org.au or phone 8406 0500.
Wishing readers a happy Christmas and New Year from the Two Wells, Lewiston & Districts Landcare Group.