Botanicus Australia Pty Ltd
EcoRamblings© ISSN 1834-2442
Please note that this publication has ceased production
Thank you to all those people that contributed questions or participated in surveys.
Welcome to EcoRamblings©, an industry newsletter for people that are required to address or manage flora, fauna,
vegetation or natural ecosystems within Australia.
My name is Simon Cropper, Principal Consultant of Botanicus Australia Pty Ltd, and I have prepared this publication
with the primary objective of educating natural resource managers, developers, councils, community groups and
governing agencies about key ecological issues I don't believe are being adequately addressed within the industry.
It is hoped that an improved understanding of these issues will raise industry standards and result in better
Following is a list of all the previous issues of EcoRamblings© published. Click on the link following the
list of contents to open the PDF file in the browser. If you want to save a copy onto your computer use the
save button on the PDF Reader.
EcoRamblings©, Issue 1 (November 2006)
Issue 1 (PDF 329KB)
- EcoRamblings© - A New Industry Newsletter
- Heat Stress in Outdoor Workers
- Site stratification, an essential component of a flora survey
- Web search: A new revolution! Open Access Journals
- Web search: Pimelea spinescens Spiny Rice-flower
- Have you unwittingly breached copyright?
- An easy and reliable method for estimating tree heights
- The demise of ephemeral wetlands of the basalt plains
- Prepurchase Ecological Assessments - don't buy a problem!
- Q&A: What is the best way to determine if a parcel of land requires a survey for significant vegetation?
- Q&A: How can land managers keep up with all the changes in legislation in relation to weeds, biodiversity and conservation?
EcoRamblings©, Issue 2 (February 2007)
Issue 2 (PDF 368KB)
- Intellectual property - a brief introduction
- Legislation related to flora in Victoria The Framework: A Review - Part 1
- The Net Gain Calculator - the final piece to the puzzle
- The Framework: A Review - Part 1 New version of the 'Guide for Assessment of Referred Planning Permit Applications'
- Q&A: How is the Habitat Hectare method for assessment of vegetation been accepted or utilised in the industry?
- Q&A: How is the Native Vegetation Management Framework been accepted in the industry?
- Q&A: An LGA Officer asked "How do we know offset site is being managed?"
- Q&A: An LGA Officer asked "What happens after 10 years to land being managed as an offset?"
- Q&A: A land manager asked "To rehabilitate a degraded site to it's floristic potential, is
it better to manually reinstate the site with a mixture of native grass seeds, or should we just allow nature
to take its course?"
- Q&A: An LGA Officer asked "Is it really possible to revegetate an area back to healthy and functional
pristine bushland? What kind of time frame is needed? We talk so much about offsetting the loss of bushland with
replanting. Are we really just wasting time and creating areas which will never be self sustaining and turn into
weed scapes or monocultures?"
EcoRamblings©, Issue 3 (May 2007)
Issue 3 (PDF 463KB)
- Mis-representation of cost - An illegal practice.
- Dangers to outside workers - Lightning.
- Power, control and product branding.
- Q&A: "Should the ground watertable be lowered by up to 3 metres under salt marsh vegetation?
I presume the saltmarsh would deteriorate in time without any remedial action, if so, when would the
likely deterioration effects on the saltmarsh be evident and would you recommend an adaptive management
plan be implemented to combat this deterioration?"
- Q&A: "What impact are the many blue gum plantations in Western Victoria having on groundwater
levels for farmers who now have plantations next door to them? They want to know why spring fed creeks
which run out of the blue gums, have gone dry for the first time in history."
- Q&A: "What sort of changes might we expect to see in our local grassland communities as a
result of climate change and as land managers what should be our response?" Don't ask for financial
advice, you won't get it! Common terms used in conservation.
EcoRamblings©, Issue 4 (August 2007)
Issue 4 (PDF 991KB)
- Problems with DSE's Net Gain Calculator.
- *Oxalis compressa Winged Wood-sorrel.
- *Ornithogalum longibracteatum Pregnant Onion.
- The need for mandatory reporting by consultants.
- Web search - Websites providing distributional, taxonomic, illustrative and photographic material on plants and animals occurring in Southeast Australia.
- The response of temperate grasslands to grazing.
- The Framework: A Review - Part 2. Minimum experience and qualifications of ecological consultants in relation to conducting botanical surveys.
EcoRamblings©, Issue 5 (November 2007)
Issue 5 (PDF 302KB)
- Quadrats, a means to justify your conclusions.
- New edition of weed control handbook.
- Q&A: about 'regeneration failure and climate change'.
- Q&A: about 'management of grasslands'.
- Q&A: about 'Control of Sweet Vernal-grass'.
- Q&A: about 'allelopathy of certain grasses'.
- Q&A: about 'natural range of Coastal Tea-tree'.
- Q&A: about 'potential impact of climate change on revegetation programs'.
- Why conserve? A short overview of the philosophy behind conservation programs.
- Why monitor? A short overview of the value in monitoring the impact of management on natural resources.
EcoRamblings©, Issue 6 (February 2008)
Issue 6 (PDF 824KB)
- Preamble, editorial comment and apologies.
- Targeted Priority Management.
- Q&A: Housekeeping - introduction to new community forum
- Q&A: An LGA Officer asked "Where in the Western District
have naturally occurring Microseris lanceolata (Yam
Daisy) been found?
- Q&A: An LGA Conservation Officer Asked "In relation to old
remnant trees why can't an arborist report be
sufficient in making a decision about tree retention?
I have been told you also need an ecologist report.
Can you clarify why this is the case?"
- Q&A: An LGA Conservation Officer Asked "What is the best
time of year to monitor vegetation to ensure you get
as many species represented on a site?"
- Q&A: Ann Lloyd McKenzie (President, Friends of Glass Creek
Parklands) asks, "What is the best way to deal with a
Ehrharta erecta (Panic Veldt Grass) infestation in an
open forest revegetation area?"
- Q&A: A government officer in response to my discussions on
the potential response of indigenous ecosystems to
climate change in Issue 5 of EcoRamblings stated "Your
thoughts resonated with me, though I reckon that the
capacity of the landscape to respond to the rapid
change we're likely to encounter is limited. And while
the principles seemed sound, they may not prove
realistic, particularly given the likelihood of weeds
filling niches before Victorian species."
- Q&A: A local landowner explains "We live in the Otway
Ranges and have been planting native trees and shrubs
on a 10-acre section of a former dairy. The salt air
environment has meant that plants have been slow in
getting established however we are starting to see
some good progress and the wildlife is returning. We
are sighting black-shouldered kites, wallabies,
echidna and more recently koalas. I have noticed that
the koalas seem to be very destructive to young
eucalypts, often breaking slender branches while
reaching for the new growth at the top of the trees.
In your view is this likely to have long lasting
implications for the health of the trees? Else-where
I have noticed that even more mature trees have been
severely set back by Koalas and with the drought it
is not clear how well they will recover."
- EcoAlert - webpage monitoring for the NRM Industry.
EcoRamblings©, Issue 7 (September 2008)
Issue 7 (PDF 1,581KB)
- The implications of listing of Natural Temperate Grassland of the
Victorian Volcanic Plain on the Environmental Protection & Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999.
- Framework III - Concerns about the reliability of percentage cover
estimates in field assessments, a case for transparent documentation
- How good are you at estimating area? Participate in this survey.
- Erodium crinitum (Blue Heron's Bill) - a grassland recluse.
- What is a Remnant Patch under the Native Vegetation Framework?
EcoRamblings©, Issue 8 (September 2009)
Issue 8 (PDF 1,451KB)
- The long awaited results of the area estimation survey.
- Key Result 1 - Most people, regardless of training or presumed practice,
have the ability to estimate cover to about 10% and that in general untrained
people tend to over-estimate lower values compared to industry professionals.
- Key Result 2 - Only one third of the 54 respondents had cover estimation skills
suitable to conduct either 'traditional' flora surveys or Habitat Hectare Assessments.