What wildlife does for farms

Cattle Egrets

Cattle Egrets in breeding plumage follow the cows everywhere

There’s lots of wildlife on our dairy farm: waterbirds of every description, a chorus of frogs, waddling wombats and lots of lizards from the cute blue-tongue through to the vulnerable goanna!

Sometimes we curse them. Ducks gobble new pastures and crops, cockies eat seed, wombats dig cavernous holes. But we never begrudge them a home and we’re aware they have important roles to play, too. The ibis eat root-eating grubs and aerate pastures with their needle-like beaks while the army of little birds help to manage the insect population.

With this in mind, we’ve created a whole farm plan that incorporates wildlife corridors linking our big environmental assets:

  • The state forest and our remnant vegetation on our southern boundary
  • Our Land for Wildlife dam
  • The wetland
  • The revegetated gully
  • The Albert River on our northern boundary

We’re also proud to participate in the JARR project, which is creating a biodiversity blueprint for this important catchment for the RAMSAR-listed Corner Inlet.

While it’s important to justify planting trees and fencing sensitive areas from a business perspective, the farm is more than that. It’s our home and, if I’m honest about it, we protect and encourage wildlife on the farm because it makes this a much better place to live.

4 Comments

Filed under Environment, Farm

4 responses to “What wildlife does for farms

  1. Ron Paynter

    One of the coolest days I have had at the dairy was a couple of years ago when a young male Koala calmly walked across the empty yard and then moved up the Blackwood that shades the yard in summer when he spotted me. Koalas are not usually seen around the farm, but he was probably moving through with romance on his mind. After a few photos and some mutual inspection, I left and he continued on his quest for love.

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  2. milkmaidmarian

    That would be very memorable!

    We had a big fellow living in a gum tree on the dairy driveway for a few months and it was really comforting to see him there looking so well. You might have more around than you think – they’re not very consipicuous creatures.

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  3. Tom

    I congratulate you on your blog & your article about wild life on the farm. There is a big push in the EU (& perhaps even more after 2014 with EU CAP reform) for Farm Sustainability (see my blog over the past 6 months) http://pasturetoprofit.blogspot.com
    Farm Sustainability criteria includes the Biodiversity on the farm both plant/soil & animal/birds. I think the advantages of a farm with alot of biodiversity is pretty obvious…..& such a nicer place to live.
    I have included your blog details on my blog & I hope it attracts UK & EU readers

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  4. milkmaidmarian

    Thanks Tom – your blog is really interesting. I’ve always tended to think of European farming as an “indoor” activity but that’s not always the case and your blog illustrates how farmers in the UK manage their pastures.

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