Growing for Glossies in the Mist

By Lloyd Hedges, Menai Group

Volunteers from Menai Group have grown over 7,000 casuarina seedlings to support the Glossies in the Mist project, and more are on the way.

Glossies in the Mist is a Saving Our Species project to protect the glossy black cockatoo in the only remaining vegetated corridor between the Southern Blue Mountains and Morton National Park. Traversing from Bullio to Bungonia, this important landscape connection is called the Great Western Wildlife Corridor. The Glossy Black Cockatoo is vulnerable in NSW due to the fragmentation of its range. The casuarina corridors that it feeds on between Morton National Park and the Blue Mountains have been broken up by clearing.

NPWS Technical Officer Pat Hall formed the idea to reestablish the corridors to allow the Glossies to travel between the mountains and the coast as they used to do. The idea was enthusiastically supported by Lauren Hook, the National Park coordinator. The project is largely being carried out on private land by local landholders. They are the essential link and their support has made the project a real success.

Menai Group has been growing mostly Allocasuarina littoralis, which is the main food source, but also Allocasuarina verticillata, as well as a few of the local eucalypts to provide future nesting trees. Volunteers from Menai Group also participated in a well-organised planting day at Penrose in the Southern Highlands.

Menai Group volunteers Marian and Joan at the planting day (photo Lloyd Hedges)
Planting 1200 tubes at Penrose (photo Lloyd Hedges)

How it started

Menai Wildflower Group started growing casuarinas to replant in the corridor due to word of mouth. After the volunteer native tube-stock nursery the group was operating was no longer required to revegetate the local tip site, the group found alternative work and grew plants for the coastal walk at the Royal National Park. Our name was passed to Rowena Morris, the ranger in charge of Dharawal National Park and Five Islands National Park by Chris Lloyd, an ornithologist and mutual friend. Menai Group supplied plants for this fascinating project and even made the rubber ducky trip to get the plants out to the island and plant them. Growing for the Glossies in the Mist campaign started when Rowena passed our name to Pat Hall. So it’s a game of who you know, not what you know.

What’s next

Menai Group has grown over 7,000 seedlings for replanting, and more are underway. Because of our contribution, the Australian Plants Society is considered a cosponsor of the Glossies in the Mist project. Australian Geographic donated $1700 from a fundraiser for Glossies in the Mist to Menai Group which used the funds to buy more potting mix and tubes. Look out for an article in a coming issue of Australian Geographic magazine.

Casuarina seedlings at the Menai Group nursery (photo Lloyd Hedges)
NPWS staff collecting the seedlings (photo Lloyd Hedges)
NPWS staff collecting the seedlings (photo Lloyd Hedges)

More information:
Glossies in the Mist https://www.facebook.com/glossiesinthemist/