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Expert Witness in the Land and Environment Court

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Turf Management

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Vegetation Management

-  Vegetation Management Plans


Management of Threatened Species


Golf Course Management

GIS Mapping

Environmental Impact Assessments

Vegetation Management Plans

A Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) is a site-specific document that provides a guideline for the management and rehabilitation of native vegetation communities, whether or not they are threatened communities.  The document describes the strategic and management objectives of the plan and the existing condition of the site with respect to the natural resources available.  It details the management guidelines with respect to a list of issues applicable to the land, e.g. biodiversity conservation, vegetation and weeds, fauna, bushfire, streams and stormwater management, recreation, works and infrastructure, pollution control and education and community involvement.


A schedule of works details the implementation of the plan, the duration and priority.  The plan is supported by maps, diagrams and plant species lists to describe the existing vegetation, management zones, constraints, vegetation and natural features to be retained, proposed vegetation, sediment and erosion control and stabilisation works, etc.


Sometimes, when a new development is likely to affect threatened plant species or threatened plant communities, Council will require a VMP to be submitted as part of the development application.


The Department of Natural Resources has provided a document on How to Prepare a Vegetation Management Plan.  This document gives step by step guidelines on all the issues to be covered, such as assessing the site, defining project tasks, preparing a time frame, seed collection, maps and diagrams, site preparation, planting program, vegetation maintenance and monitoring, etc.


The Abel Ecology team has licensed vegetation ecologists with professional, botanical and ecological qualifications to assist you with your VMP.



Management of Threatened Species

Any species listed as Threatened is not secure enough to persist in the long term unless threats operating against it are reduced or eliminated.  The big threats are clearing of native vegetation, draining swamps and feral predators.


Some Threatened Species occur in National Parks, but this is not adequate to ensure the long term survival of all species.  National Parks are often isolated by cleared land, so species populations are usually fragmented into small groups which may not be able to cross the gaps.  Management of private or public land is thus critical to the survival of many Threatened Species.


Abel Ecology's licensed vegetation ecologists have a long history of management of Threatened Species in the context of land development.  The presence of a particular species on a site does not quarantine that land from further use.   We aim to create a sustainable balance between a range of possibilities for your land.

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Golf Course Management

Enjoyable playing environment


Good golf course design has input from a range of disciplines, such as engineering, greenkeeping and professional players, for example Ogilvy Clayton Pty Ltd in Melbourne.  Abel Ecology brings a value added dimension of ecological services to golf course design.


Insect pests are a major threat to turf grasses and require continuous control.  A range of native animals can assist in control of such pests.  In order to achieve this, the appropriate habitat can be put in place, which will enable fauna to take up residence, and live on the golf course.  Such fauna then set about eating the pest insects.


The fauna include spiders, predatory insects, lizards, frogs, birds and insectivorous bats. Each of these has particular habitat requirements.  This approach has been successful at one golf course near Sydney, and is being implemented now at two more courses.


The benefits of habitat enhancement to a golf course designer, manager or superintendent are numerous and range from design and management of a course to enhancing wildlife.  A targeted design and a matching management plan can go together to provide and maintain the habitat to enable the helpful fauna to establish on your course.  Our licensed vegetation ecologists, with professional, botanical and ecological qualifications, can help you with this.  Additional benefits are:


  • Improved player comfort resulting from fewer annoying insects.

  • Improved player enjoyment of the course resulting from a better looking course when wildflowers are in bloom, and birds are flying and calling in the trees.

  • Reduced operating costs for a course from less time mowing, less chemical usage and fewer irrigation requirements.

  • Reduced lost balls and increased course playability due to simple management strategies.


In August 2004 Abel Ecology Director, Danny Wotherspoon, was invited to present two papers on his research in wildlife habitat requirements at the 19th International Congress of Zoology in Beijing, China. These papers deal with the response of fauna to habitat management on one Sydney golf course, and how this applies to golf courses in general.


At the 2004 Ecological Society of Australia conference in Adelaide, Danny and other Abel Ecology staff presented papers on golf course management and monitoring.

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Abel Ecology Pty Ltd 2014.  trading as Abel Earthcare, Abel EarthScape and Abel Archaeology

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