Health check for the Grampians

A TEAM of Parks Victoria rangers and Museum Victoria scientists are joining forces to perform a biodiversity scan of the Grampians.

The Grampians bioscan will act as a health check for the wildlife and habitats in the region. The project started yesterday and will run until November 29. 

About 60 Museum Victoria scientists and postgraduate students and 20 Parks Victoria staff will seek information and images of wildlife. 

Ranger-in-charge David Roberts said the bioscan was a rapid survey to trap, spotlight, sample and record wildlife, geology and human history throughout the Grampians National Park and other nearby parks.

“This partnership presents a great opportunity for scientists and rangers to collaborate to improve our collective knowledge following the recent floods at the Grampians,” he said. 

“Over the past decade we’ve had major fires and floods, which have altered the landscape and directly affected wildlife habitats. 

“With recovery from the recent floods well under way, and much of the major infrastructure now repaired, this is a golden opportunity to check in on the park’s wildlife and biodiversity.”

Museum Victoria head of sciences Dr Mark Norman said he and his team were excited to work with Parks Victoria in an iconic region of the state.

“Behind the dramatic geology of the Grampians there is a stunning array of habitats ranging from grasslands, woodlands, tall eucalypt forests, rocky slopes, moist gullies with ancient tree ferns, swamps and rivers,” he said.

“What we discover about the wildlife in these habitats will help protect, manage and spread the word on these special animals and plants.”

The bioscan will explore and study the wildlife of wetlands and streams, fauna and flora in wet gullies in eastern parts of the Victoria Range, the distribution of significant small mammals and identify the rich moth fauna inhabiting upland rocky outcrops.

It will also study reptiles,  survey the geology and fossils, launch a pilot investigation into any impact the introduced sallow wattle has had on wildlife  and record the oral histories of the Grampians — particularly those of families with long-term connections and former forestry and parks staff. The information, images and recordings will be combined and made available for use in research programs, education activities and interpretation.

Last year a bioscan was done at Wilsons Promontory National Park. 

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