Managing grasslands for the Plains-wanderer

On Victoria’s Northern Plains, managers of grassland conservation reserves are using sheep and cattle as management tools to reduce biomass and manipulate grassland vegetation structure.

Maintaining short, open swards of grass is important in these reserves to provide habitat for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus.

In addition to using livestock, land managers have begun to re-introduce fire as a management tool in these grasslands, a disturbance that has been largely absent in this landscape for 150+ years.

Fire and grazing have the potential to significantly influence habitat suitability for Plains-wanderers and other grassland fauna but their impacts have not been studied.

This study aims to:

  1. Identify the impacts of different management techniques on vegetation structure, grassland birds and their food sources.
  2. Determine if specific management techniques can help restore grassland function.

This research will inform management of Plains-wanderer and other grassland fauna habitat throughout Victoria’s Northern Plains.

Project partners

  • Parks Victoria
  • Zoos Victoria
  • Birdlife Australia
  • Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment