Category: Nature

Climate dogs round up our weather

 

Have you ever wondered why some years we have lots of rain, some years it’s really dry? There are a lot of different things happening in the sky that create our weather, and sometimes it’s so complicated we don’t know what to expect.

Luckily, we have some clever climate dogs to help us understand Victoria’s weather a little more.

As we head into spring, keep an eye on the weather and see if you think it is a wet spring or a dry spring, and what you think this means the climate dogs have been up to.

Keep our coasts clean

 

Victorians are lucky to boast a unique and diverse coastline. From rugged cliffs to surf beaches to bays, our coastline has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, Victorians also have a lot to offer with tonnes of rubbish accidently flowing through storm water systems and into the sea.

Plastic pollution poses a major threat to the marine ecosystem. Plastics don’t break down like organic materials (e.g. wood or leaves). Instead, plastic hangs around for a very long time. (more…)

Pest plants!

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Bridal Creeper

A weed is a plant that is growing where it’s not wanted. Weeds cause problems in our parks for many reasons:

  • They reduce the amount of land available for native plants and animals by taking over bushland
  • They may be poisonous to animals if eaten and can lead to allergies in humans
  • They can also threaten farming industries
  • Some exotic grasses can create high fuel loads that can cause greater bushfire intensity

Did you know that Many weeds can produce large amounts of seed which help their spread via wind, waterways, people (bottom of shoes), vehicles, birds and other animals. Willow trees for example have winged seeds that are carried on the wind tens of kilometres from their source.

When weeds become a problem in your school or garden it can be very helpful to develop a weed management plan. Things to include in a weed management plan include: learning about weeds in your area and how they are spread. Tell people about weeds and discuss problems and solutions. For more information, replacement plant ideas and disposal methods:

Fire and parks

Ranger Deb Cross at Gil Groggin Fire north of Buchan

Ranger Deb Cross at Gil Groggin Fire north of Buchan

Fire, both as a natural event and its use by Aboriginal people has been a part of the Australian environment for thousands of years. It has shaped our plants and animals into the unique ecosystems we have today; its effects in many areas of Victoria are important for the health of our plants and animals. But is it good or Bad?

Well – it can depend. Most major parks in Victoria require periodic fire to ensure the survival of certain plants and animals. A number of native plants and animals have developed specific ways of surviving fire, in fact many including plants such as banksias and grass trees rely on fire to regenerate seeds and survive.

Prescribed Burning

Today the term ‘prescribed burning’ refers to the use of fire to achieve planned land and resource management objectives. Depending on the environment type, some parks need more frequent fire than others.
There are two main reasons that Parks Victoria and the Department of Sustainability conduct prescribed burns in Victoria’s parks:

  • Fuel management – to reduce the risk and intensity of bushfires in areas surrounding towns and important assets.
  • Flora and fauna management – to maintain species diversity and encourage fire dependant species like banksias and Grass Trees to regenerate.

Prescribed burns are usually conducted in autumn or spring when the weather is milder. Keep an eye out when you’re travelling around at this time of year for the large plumes of smoke coming from the burns.