Revegetation - Healthy Habitat Legacy
Re-establishing native vegetation can be an important part of land management; it may also lead to better biodiversity. Revegetating with native flora can rebuild areas of habitat that have been lost or cleared. Having a properly planned maintenance (watering, weed control) schedule is vital for achieving optimum results. A successful revegetation project will also include a monitoring component to track, change and identify areas for improvement, especially concerning weed and pest animal control.
Tip - the Healthy Habitat Seasonal Guide has guidelines for what to do according to our dry tropics seasons. Reasons for revegetating may include:
- Providing additional habitat for wildlife
- Controlling weeds
- Stabilising soil
- Enhancing existing vegetation areas
- Improving water quality
- Increasing shade/shelter for livestock, pasture and crops.
Main methods of revegetation:
- Natural regeneration - unassisted establishment of seedlings and suckers from existing or nearby vegetation. This should be considered as the first option whenever possible.
- Planting - using seedlings of local species which can be grown in a variety of container sizes to suit the scale and purpose of your planting plan. They are usually planted by hand.
- Direct seeding – cost effective and efficient, particularly for large scale projects. This can be carried out by machinery or by hand.
It is always better to retain and enhance existing native vegetation than to revegetate from scratch. Replacing lost areas can be expensive and it may take a long time to replace the elements of a natural area. Protecting and enhancing natural habitat areas is usually easier and will have greater value than creating new patches.