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ARI-Technical-Report-265-Guide-to-managing-livestock-grazing-in-wetlands-decision-framework-V1.0

ARI-Technical-Report-265-Guide-to-managing-livestock-grazing-in-wetlands-decision-framework-V1.0

Decision tree guidance

Decision tree guidance (continued) Questions on grazing-sensitive species (continued) Are grazing-sensitive species present and at risk from grazing? (continued) Grazing-sensitive fauna are species that may be impacted by livestock, through trampling, competition for resources or disturbance. This includes waterbirds that are particularly flighty or nest on the ground and frogs, reptiles and other species that would be impacted by a decline in vegetation condition. Is there a desire to re-establish grazing-sensitive flora or fauna? Consider whether the wetland site is currently suitable for the reintroduction of grazing-sensitive species, and whether there is a desire to undertake reintroduction in the short to medium term. Check whether local, regional or state strategies for the reintroduction of sensitive flora or fauna to suitable sites exist and would apply at this site. Is there a grazing regime that will accommodate grazing-sensitive species? In general, continuous or high-intensity grazing pressure will reduce the cover of palatable species, leading to a wider range of species being eaten. This, in turn, will result in reduced plant diversity, particularly on the wetland verges. However, in some cases, relatively palatable species that would be likely to be severely reduced or eliminated under continuous grazing may tolerate pulse or short-season grazing, particularly if they are rhizomatous and if the soils are relatively dry over the period of grazing. 30

Grazing Decision Tree A EVC condition class: 5 or 4 Vegetation condition objective: Maintain vegetation condition Overview EVCs in condition class 5 are largely unmodified or in excellent condition (see Table 2). These EVCs are of high value and uncommon. The vegetation condition objective for these sites should be to maintain their condition EVCs in condition class 4 are slightly modified or in good condition (see Table 2). The most desirable management objective for this condition class is to improve vegetation condition. For these sites Grazing Decision Tree B, page 35 should be used). However, in cases where landscape-scale threats or funding limit the ability to improve the vegetation condition, maintaining vegetation condition is an acceptable management objective. For these sites Grazing Decision Tree A overleaf should be used. Grazing management considerations These EVCs should be protected from potentially damaging activities, including livestock grazing There are a few instances however when livestock grazing may be a means of supporting these vegetation values. These include when potentially dominant, introduced grazing-palatable plants are established nearby and have started to invade the wetland, and when control through other means is unrealistic, or when biomass reduction is required and other means such as mechanical removal are not suitable. 31

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