Mount Hotham

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Invasive Flora & Fauna

Historically, many exotic (weed) plants have been introduced to the Resort through cattle grazing and for soil stabilisation purposes. Combined with more recent disturbance during construction and development, as well as summer and winter recreation and tourism activities, there has been an increase in the exotic flora of the Resort. The majority of these species do not extend far into native vegetation, however some species pose a serious threat. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Willow (Salix) species, English Broom (Cytsus scoparius) and Soft Rush (Juncus effusus) have been identified as serious threats to the biological diversity of the Resort. In particular, Yarrow has the potential to spread from disturbed areas into native vegetation and Grey Willow is a weed of National Significance having the potential to infest downstream waterways. The Board conducts an annual weed eradication program to combat this threat.

Posing the most significant threat to biodiversity within the Resort are the Rabbit, Hare, Fox and Cat. The Rabbit and Hare are introduced herbivores that threaten indigenous vegetation and the Fox and Cat are introduced carnivorous predators that threaten native wildlife. Predation by Foxes and Cats on native wildlife is listed as a threatening process under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The introduced Brown Trout threatens Mountain Galaxias populations in the upper Swindler’s Creek. Brown Trout has been recorded from the Swindler’s Creek downstream of the reservoir and weir. These barriers appear to be protecting the Mountain Galaxias from the upstream migration of the Brown Trout.

In April 2012 the Board began implimentation of an integrated pest management program to compliment 1080 baiting in conjunction with Parks Victoria. Monitoring of populations is conducted inhouse and supplimented with work by external contractors. MHRMB would like to acknowledge Alex Krstic of Wildpro for his assistance in the development of this program.