The North-West Goldfields Intermittent Soaks are a dependent ecosystems, which rely on the availability of a reliable supply of water, including the seasonal discharge of shallow groundwater on the boundaries of steep granitic and metamorphic ranges. When these occasional soaks run (approximately 2 – 3 years out of every ten), they become ephemeral wetland habitats which support unique vegetation communities. The species are often rare and endemic to the area. The intermittent soaks appear as seepage areas near natural topographic drainage features or at the break in the slope. They have become seasonal sources of water on the borders of valleys that are open to agriculture. During the intervening dry periods, the main wet area dries out completely, leaving bare ground, minimal litter with scattered vegetation cover.
The spring-soaks have been heavily impacted by grazing pressure and climate change, and are now considered in danger of extinction and have recently been listed as a threatened community under the FFG Act (1988) as “Granite Foothills Spring Wetland [North-east Victoria] Community”.
This monitoring project is being designed to
• Determine the temporal extent of the ecosystem,
• Determine the temporal composition and structure of flora
• Establish baseline data to monitor the change of floristic diversity
• Determine management techniques and strategies
• Engage Community in citizen science projects
• Provide educational opportunities and raise awareness amongst land managers and the local community.