One of the key landholder management actions involved in the Environmental Stewardship Programme (ESP) is reduced or altered livestock grazing pressure at key times of the year. As such, the Grazing Study was established in 2011 in order to investigate further the effect of livestock grazing intensity and timing on farm biodiversity. Currently managed by Daniel Florance, the Grazing Study compares the impacts of a Stewardship type grazing management (livestock removal for spring and summer periods), with that of total domestic livestock exclusion, and either a set-stocking or holistic/rotational style of management. This research aims to inform land managers about the benefits of different grazing styles and how livestock grazing may be used as an effective land management tool to allow primary production and biodiversity conservation to work side by side.
This study is undertaken in Critically Endangered Box Gum Grassy Woodland, primarily around the Cowra/Boorowa district of NSW, but also includes monitoring sites around Gunning and Gundagai areas. A total of 94 sites are established across this region, on 28 properties. Many of these properties also participate in the Environmental Stewardship Program, however several are external to the program, entering into the Grazing Study in good faith.
Monitoring of the 94 sites investigates biota changes under different grazing regimes. This involves bird, reptile and amphibian surveys, as well as vegetation monitoring. This research aims to determine if different grazing regimes are associated with differences in bird, reptile and amphibians across the sites. A partnership with Greening Australia will investigate the potential of forb enhancement under different grazing regimes on a subset of sites, with planting undertaken in Winter 2015.
The study is funded by the Department Of The Environment, through the Environmental Stewardship Study.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to the cooperative, interested and passionate landowners who allow us continued access to their properties. We appreciate your support and your extensive knowledge and insights into land management practices. We could not do this without you.