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Angair’s raison d’être is for the protection of flora and fauna, in which we have been quite effective over the years.

However, we are not alone—there are other groups in the district doing good work, and we all support, and are supported by, the various levels of government. A range of laws has been passed for protecting nature in several ways: for example, pollution prevention, protection of species and the creation of reserves. This article begins a series covering everything from national parks, bushland and roadside reserves at a State level, to those levels covered by the shire, GORCC and private protected areas. I would like to start with my ’local’”—a small patch of bush near my house that I visit almost daily.

Kuarka Dorla is one of 33 areas designated specifically as nature reserves by the Surf Coast Shire. Kuarka Dorla is 4.4 ha in area and runs from the Anglesea River near the three boat sheds, up a tributary drainage line which no longer flows, as surface waters have been piped underground to protect surrounding houses. In the Wadawarrung language, Kuarka Dorla is the name for the Anglesea River and means ‘place to catch mullet’. Walking tracks run the length of the reserve to Russell Ave.

kuarka dorla map

Along the middle of the reserve, the vegetation is classed as damp sands herb-rich woodland, which has Swamp Gum, Eucalyptus ovata, as an overstorey over a tall shrub layer. On either side of this, where the land starts to slope upwards, it becomes heathy woodland with Messmate, Eucalyptus obliqua, as the dominant eucalypt over a variety of heathland plants. For such a small area it has an impressive list of 133 species of plants and fungi, but reflects the pressure of surrounding housing. The weeds list, at 114, is also high. Sixty-eight species of birds have been sighted there, and eight animal species.

track kuarka dorla

Angair and the shire have undertaken a lot of weed control, with the reserve now looking better than it has for years. Some of the more interesting records include Common Aotus, Aotus ericoides, Showy Bossiaea, Bossiaea cinerea, (uncommon in our district), Mountain Clematis, Clematis aristata, (typical of wetter forests around Moggs Creek and Lorne), and the Koel, a large, black-plumaged bird from the cuckoo family. They are migratory, coming to Australia in spring but rarely getting this far south.

A very worthwhile reserve.

This is the first article in an occasional series, written by Neil Tucker.