Following an audit of the 32 recommendations about the Natural Temperate Grasslands in the OCSE 2011-12 Annual Report, the OCSE engaged Dr Kenneth Hodgkinson to inspect specified natural temperate grassland sites and undertake photographic and floristic assessments – to compare and build on similar work undertaken in 2009.
Dr Hodgkinson made 9 key recommendations in his report delivered to the Commissioner in March 2014.
He found that the condition of 14 remnant sites of Natural Temperate Grasslands (NTG) in Canberra ranged from 0-40 in Floristic Value Score. He also found that this variation can be attributed to past and current land management practices and that current management of these sites will not ensure their survival.
The native plants and animals of these remnants of NTG in Canberra are threatened by overgrazing from kangaroos, animal pests and domestic herbivores, by excessive and untimely mowing regimes, by failure to eradicate weeds and by failure to apply fire regimes essential for the survival of most of the native plant species. Dr Hodgkinson warned that many of the grassland patches are approaching critical thresholds beyond which they will change to a different and less desirable state.
Dr Hodgkinson’s 2009 report can be downloaded here. The Office subject to funding, plans to initiate an update to this report sometime in the future.