Demonstration site: Mulligan’s Flat ACT

Project Leader: Don Fletcher, ACT Territory and Municipal Services

Aim: To protect and restore the Territory’s Grassy Woodland’s endangered ecological communities through exclusion of introduced predators from Mulligan’s Flat Nature Reserve.

Projects:  10.u.10

Project summary

Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve is situated in the north-east section of the suburb of Gungahlin in Canberra, adjacent to the border between the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and New South Wales (NSW). It was established in 1995 to protect its box-gum woodlands and bird fauna and it has become a popular location for bushwalkers, bird watchers and orienteers.

This project seeks to provide an opportunity within the Australian Capital Territory to build public education about pest animal issues generally, and to improve community understanding of modern technologies for control of invasive animals and their role in biodiversity conservation and recovery of threatened species.

A predator-proof fence is being installed by the ACT Government within the boundaries of Mulligan’s Flat Nature Reserve.  The fenced area will be subject to eradication of foxes and cats.  The new residential development of Forde commenced development in 2007 and in the period up to 2012 a further suburb of Bonner will also be constructed adjacent to the nature reserve.  It is expected that bird and mammal fauna typical of Yellow Box – Red Gum Grassy Woodland habitats in the south-eastern highland bioregion will be reintroduced to the sanctuary once it is free of foxes and cats.

IA CRC participation will be directed towards assistance with the development and implementation of surveys of community understanding about the impact of fox and cat predation on threatened species; preparation of education/information materials; and production of signage.

The project dovetails with community-based projects being managed by the Conservation Council of the South-east Region and Canberra (CCSERAC) and the Ginninderra Catchment Group (GCG).  Funds for these projects have been secured through the Natural Heritage Trust.

This proposal is likely to play a role in supporting other IA CRC projects by providing an opportunity to showcase their products and demonstrate to the general public the biodiversity benefits of invasive animal control.

The main project aims are:

  • to provide an opportunity for the IA CRC/TAMS to showcase products for control of feral predators and demonstrate biodiversity benefits by permitting reintroduction of threatened species to natural habitat
  • to establish at Mulligan’s Flat Nature Reserve information and education materials on invasive animals and their impact on threatened species
  • to develop an understanding of:
    • local resident and reserve users’ views of predator control
    • motivations for participation / non-participation in key activities associated with predator control in the reserve and adjacent areas.

Key achievements

  • Local Gungahlin resident and Mulligan’s Flat interest group surveys (questionnaires) were conducted by Andrew Gavel Pty Ltd and reports on the survey results provided to the IA CRC.
  • Public dissemination of community survey data.
  • Completion of the new 11km-long predator proof fence.

Key deliverables

  • Information signage designed, constructed and installed
  • Community and agency monitoring in place

Project team

Don Fletcher, Sharon Lane, Peter Mills, Murray Evans (ACT TAMS), Prof Tony Peacock (IA CRC).

Project partners

IA CRC, ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services, University of Canberra.

Further information
ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services website
Media release from Chief Minister Jon Stanhope

For further information, contact us.

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