The Grassy Woodland

Burrabungle is classified as grassy woodland giving protection to old, large Eucalyptus trees amidst a diversity of other species.

Trees

Widespread over the property are wonderful stands of yellow box grown to a remarkable size for this species (Eucalyptus melliodora). Along drainage lines there are large old river red gum trees (Eucalyptus camaldulensis).

The flowers are an important resource for bees foraging on the land.

Understorey

The understory of the woodland is dense at the base of the rocky slopes with a large range of smaller trees and shrubs, sustained by water and nutrient runoff from the rock slabs above. This ecologically rich area is in good health and provides a good habitat for birds and smaller (but rare) marsupials. From this source the remainder of the property gains a diversity of plants and animals.

The dominant understory consists of acacias that provide food and shelter for birds and animals. The large stands of Deane’s wattle provide a harbour for healthy mistletoe growth.

Fungi

The soil below the trees and understorey is rich in fungal spores which appear when the conditions are favourable.The decades since all animal grazing stopped has allowed the condition of the soil to recover and store these and other soil organisms.

Some of the fungi definitely do not look edible:

Some even establish growth on well-trodden paths through the woodland:

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Wildlife

Not surprisingly, these woodlands provide the habitat for abundant wildlife.

Now and then one sees an echidna waddling along.

You can spot a kangroo with joey.

Photograph by Berto Voigt

Or a group of kangaroos browsing.

Photograph by Berto Voigt

Then there are lots of shy little ceatures that are hard to capture on film

Birds

There are birds in abundance.

There is a keen interest in birdwatching among neighbours in the Mount Korong area and a rich diversity of birds is described for the Mount Korong Nature Conservation Reserve.

On Burrabungle Wedged-tailed eagles circle.

Or produce their young in twiggy nests

Photograph from http://www.burrabungle.net/

There is even a nest of diamond firetails.


Photograph by Dominic Sherony [CC BY-SA 2.0 – Licence]

Other birds appear when they feel like it

The birds lay eggs in their own nests but also in the new boxes installed in the trees.

Problems

The grassy woodland is ecologically rich and diverse but the downside of that is that it also provides a good habitat for weeds and pests, particularly rabbits.

Controlling Weeds

The following weeds appear and need to be controlled:

Wheel Cactus and prickly pear

Paterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum) appears in the Spring

Bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), a weed difficult to eradicate

Great mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)

Horehound

Controlling Pests

Rabbits have long proliferated on this land and need labour-intensive, sustained control of their burrows.

Also cats and foxes.