A valuable natural asset containing important wildlife
habitat and Sachs creek;
The Oak Valley Reserve
|The Oak valley
reserve consists of 75Ha of open eucalypt woodland and riparian forests
located approximately 15km from the Townsville city centre. It contains
significant habitat for local fauna, and includes a major segment of Sachs
creek, which is an important tributary of Ross River dam. Ensuring the
integrity of the riparian vegetation, water quality and animal habitat within
the reserve is important in maintaining the high conservation value of the
Over the years several steps have been taken by members of the community and local authorities to ensure this beautiful area remains pristine. The Oak Valley Landcare Group was established in 1996 and the reserve is one of their focus areas. They have been active for many yeas in removing weeds, planting thousands of native trees and promoting community awareness about the area. In 2000 the Oak Valley Reserve was designated as a Land for Wildlife area further promoting its natural importance.
The habitat with in the reserve represents a typical open Eucalypt woodland area with associated riparian forest. Along the creek banks you will find a wide variety of diverse native flora. This area is dominated by Swamp Mahogany, along with River oaks, Pongamia, Pandanus and many others.
The Ridge top, Western facing slopes and creek flats are all dominated by Poplar Gums. Narrow-leafed ironbark is also common through out the area, and there is a wide variety of native grasses. In flatter areas the broad leaf paperbark is also very prevalent.
Fauna of special concern
Along with the several wallaby species, the many different native fish and the local bird fauna, there is one particular inhabitant of the area that is of particular concern. The southern sub-species of the black-throated finch was once common from north east NSW to the Atherton Tablelands, however, over the last twenty years itís range has contracted to the point that the Townsville region is one of the few areas where it is persistent year round.
The Black-throated finch has suffered greatly due to predation by introduced species, loss or alteration of habitat, and illegal trapping for the pet trade. The species has previously been sighted in the Oak Valley region, and the reserve contains extensive areas of suitable habitat for this graniverous bird. It is likely that any effort to protect the natural integrity of the area will inturn help protect the vulnerable species.
A Black-throated finch recovery team has been formed, and any sightings or queries should be directed to: Bernie Davis, email@example.com
Sachs creek has specific local importance because of the fact that it drains off Mt.Stuart and into the Ross River Dam. It is a seasonal water body and a large portion of the creek runs through the reserve, with rocky waterholes providing habitat refuges for native macrophytes and fish.
Recently a Creekwatch group was assembled for Sachs creek. The group will monitor the condition of the creek regularly in order to ensure the creek remains persistently healthy. The group is made up of volunteers who visit the creek once a week taking records on the water quality and the fish population. Water quality monitoring is carried out in order to gauge the physical condition of the creek and to note how this changes over time. Information on water temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved Oxygen and turbidity is recorded. Fish surveys are also carried out which give an indication of the biological condition of the creek.
Up & Coming Events
In April 2004 a Green Corp Team started a six month project to help improve the quality of the Oak Valley Reserve and help protect the endangered Black-throated finch. They will be removing invasive weeds from the area, planting hundreds of native trees, monitoring Black-throated finch numbers, collecting native seed for future propagation, maintaining the park and promoting community awareness about the area.
Catchment tours, community plantings, open days and working Beeís are regular community events that take place in the Oak Valley park and the Land for Wildlife area. For info on future events visit the Community Education page. For further Creekwatch information vist the Louisa Creekwatch page
For more Information or to learn how you can participate, contact:
Evan Kruckow on 0409 353 474
or DJ Mackenzie on 4727 9317