An enthusiastic group of Rottnest Foundation members travelled to Rottnest on Saturday 4 July to assist with a salt lake rehabilitation project at Herschel Lake.  It was a beautiful winter’s day and the group set to work planting approximately 3,000 saltmarsh species.  These included Tectiornia halocnemoides and Tectiornia indica (samphire) on the low-lying areas close to the water-line and Ficinia nodosa, Rhadogia baccata and Melaleuca lanceolata on the higher ground.  The plants are propagated on the island by the Rottnest Island Nursery volunteers, resulting in a higher survival rate.

The aim of the project is to increase habitat for migratory shorebirds, improve wetland buffer functions and deter pedestrian/cyclist access, which is a key threat to the microbial communities that are supported by the salt lakes on Rottnest which are listed as ‘Wetlands of National Importance’.

The project has been made possible through a $18,000 Community Environment Program Grant secured by the Rottnest Foundation.  The grant program is administered by the Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and was allocated by the Federal Member for Fremantle Josh Wilson MP.

The funding has supported the construction of quokka-exclusion fencing, propagation and planting of the native saltmarsh species over a 0.3 hectare area.  The site will undergo scheduled monitoring of plant health and survival rates and fencing maintenance by the Rottnest Island Authority’s environmental team.

If you would like to contribute to the conservation of Rottnest Island and participate in our volunteer planting days, we invite you to join the Rottnest Foundation.