Wompoo Gorge (south), New South Wales, Australia

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Much of the state- and nationally listed Lowland Subtropical Rainforest at Wompoo Gorge, located on Coopers Creek near Rosebank, was partially cleared for pasture early last century. Parts of the cleared forest regenerated naturally with the removal of agricultural activities from the site during the 1940s-50s, but Lantana (Lantana camara) established in large gaps and prevented any further rainforest regeneration. This weed domination reduced the function of an important habitat linkage between Nightcap and Goonengerry National Parks. Twenty-seven threatened species (10 threatened flora species and 17 vulnerable animal species) have been recorded on the site, which has been identified as a key climate change and wildlife corridor.

In 2009 a program of ecological restoration commenced in the southern 40 ha of the 78 ha property. Works focused on systematic control of Lantana by a range of methods including: mechanical with a tractor; spraying, splattering and cut/scrape and paint to facilitate replacement of Lantana. Lantana has been virtually eliminated from extensive areas and vigorous regeneration of a high diversity of native rainforest species has occurred. The site has proved highly resilient, located as it is between two major sources of propagules. Its unique location, resilience and beauty has made it an ideal site to educate and inspire the community to restore rainforest. Involving Green Army participants alongside professional regenerators has helped Green Army participants gaining valuable knowledge, skills and training in ecological restoration. In 2014 NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service acquired the property realising the goal of former property owner Dailan Pugh to protect the property in perpetuity for the benefit of conserving native species and for future generations. Works are now ongoing in the northern part of Wompoo Gorge.

Caption to following photo:  2008-2015 Wompoo Gorge (south) restoration work areas and monitoring points (40ha)

Caption to following photo: 2008-2015 Wompoo Gorge (south) restoration work areas and monitoring points (40ha)

Contact: Paul O’Connor, Technical Manager, EnviTE Environment, 56 Carrington Street (P.O.Box 1124) Lismore  2480 Australia. Tel: +61 2 6627 2841 Mob: + 61 427 014 692. Email: paulo@envite.org.au .

See longer outline on EMR journal’s project summaries website: https://site.emrprojectsummaries.org/2015/05/30/wompoo-gorge-lowland-subtropical-rainforest-restoration-project-coopers-creek-new-south-wales/