Science

Friends of the Prom volunteers have contributed to both formal research and citizen science over many years. These projects are aimed at providing scientific evidence to help Park managers decide on the best methods for restoring and maintaining the Prom’s natural values.

Restoration of Coastal Grassy Woodland on the Yanakie Isthmus

One Park asset on the Yanakie Isthmus, the Coastal Grassy Woodland, is in poor condition and Prom’s Conservation Action Plan gives it a high priority for restoration. Parks Victoria has a long term program to restore the area to its pre-European settlement condition of open grasslands and herb-fields dotted with She-oak  and Coast Banksia trees.   Friends of the Prom is involved in a number of scientific research projects associated with this restoration.

  • Grazer Monitoring Project – volunteers visit marked sites every six weeks during the cooler months to identify, count and clear away animal pellets (scats). Grazing animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, deer and rabbits are putting pressure on Coastal Grassy Woodland and suppressing the regrowth of canopy and under-storey plants. The project is designed to estimate the trend in the population of these animals and inform decisions on their management.
  • Coast Banksia Research – Coast Banksias on the Yanakie Isthmus have been in decline for some time, and Parks Victoria has a number of research projects on the go to find out why.
  • Propagating banksia seedlings  – the seeds are collected locally and seedlings propagated in Friends of the Prom’s Tidal River nursery. The seedlings are used for research projects.
  • Annual study grant – established to encourage students to pursue scientific research projects at the Prom. To date, two study grants of $1,000 have been awarded by Friends of the Prom to help students with their expenses. The first was awarded in 2018 to a Latrobe University honours student whose project investigated the possible cause of Coast Banksia decline in the Park. He recently completed his honours year thesis and presented his results to Friends of the Prom members at their 2019 AGM. The second grant was awarded in 2020 to another Latrobe University honours student, Cassandra Kalafatakis. Her project is investigating the ability of Coast Banksia to regenerate and survive, aiming to preserve and expand the vulnerable Coastal Grassy Woodlands habitat.
  • Measuring the spread of Tea-tree seed – Friends of the Prom volunteers have helped Parks Victoria staff build seed traps, install them in the field, and clear the seed traps at intervals. The purpose of the project was to estimate the spread of Tea-tree seed by prevailing winds at the Prom. Friends of the Prom works in collaboration with other organisations engaged in collecting data to assess the long term impacts on threats to flora and fauna at the Prom.

Hooded Plover Monitoring

Our volunteers provide assistance to Birdlife Australia for monitoring the vulnerable shore nesting bird the Hooded Plover (Thinoris rubricollis Charadriidae). We conduct beach surveys at the Prom counting breeding pairs, and evidence of nesting and/or chicks. Find out more about Birdlife Australia’s Hooded Plover research work here.
If you’d like to join the Prom Hoodie Monitoring group, please email Birdlife Australia’s Dr Kasun Ekanayake: <kasun.ekanayake@birdlife.org.au>

Phytophthora Cinnamomi Monitoring Project

Phytophthora monitoring – Friends of the Prom monitors Grass Tree populations and their condition.

Preserving scientific and historical records for the Prom

Parks Victoria’s Yanakie Office holds a library of over 850 scientific research reports on Wilsons Promontory National Park and over 4,600 photographic slides. Much of this material exists in hard-copy form only. The purpose of this project is to ensure this collection is accessible to scientific researchers and land managers by digitising all materials in the library and creating an on-line catalogue. Friends of the Prom volunteers will digitise and collate these records using equipment supplied by Parks Victoria.
The start of this project has been delayed because we are awaiting funding for purchase of scanning equipment.

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