The project is targeted at the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) and the Long nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus) and will create around 230 Ha of nature refuge within existing high quality potoroo and koala habitat, as well as around 15 Ha of new habitat plantings (also protected). Plantings will consist of 80% koala feed trees and 20% habitat plantings, constituting an ecosystem approach to this conservation effort. The project is also consistant with existing methodologies under the current CFI legislation, as a carbon sink forest and could potentially earn carbon credits (as an additional income stream for the farm) in the future. This project represents a significant win-win for Jingeri.
Aside from the obvious conservation benefits, this project will facilitate higher plant and fungi diversity within the revegetation areas, which will in turn have significant positive benefits for our soil biology. This is especially important given the marginal nature of the soils currently. It will also assist the soils to hold water, thereby reducing surface run off and subsequently reducing erosion on the hillslopes. Improving soil moisture levels will also improve the growth and diversity of pasture grasses both within the project area as well as adjacent to it. Finally, we anticipate that our input costs for weed mitigation will be reduced over time as the habitat areas mature.
All of these things will have distinct economic benefits for our production systems, through improved pasture growth rates, higher carrying capacities for cattle and reduced costs of weed mitigation.
The project to date is in the very early stages of development. We expect to have the project put out to tender within 6 months, the winning contractor will be responsible for the initial revegetaion work and its ongoing maintenance for the first 5 years until the habitat is well established. We will exclude stock from this area during this time but following that will be able to include the project area in our rotational grazing regime.