Giant Gippsland Earthworm (GGE) Information Session & Field Day A Great Success!
A Giant Gippsland Earthworm (GGE) Information Session & Field Day was held on Monday 9th of September. The event was hosted by Peter & Wilma Mackay who have run a dairy operation for nearly forty years on their Poowong East farm. They have a number of GGE colonies on the property.The information day was part of a project aimed at providing private landholders with information about the biology and habits of this fascinating creature that only occurs in South and West Gippsland, and to help landholders identify and manage their GGE habitat. The information/field day was a gurgling success. There were eighteen attendees from the local and not so local area. Dr Beverley Van Praagh gave a presentation on the history, biology and habitat requirements of the species.We then donned gumboots and headed off to visit one of the GGE colonies closest to the farm. The worms were quite active with lots of gurgling and squelching noises much to the delight of those present. Their activity may have had something to do with recent rain. The GGE site is located in pasture on a southward facing slope above a creek.The project is looking for suitable properties to take part in a trial of different revegetation techniques to find out what plants species are best suited to GGEs and the recommended proximity of planting to colonies. While revegetation normally has a host of environmental benefits, in the case of GGEs it may affect the local hydrology by drying out sites and making them unsuitable.These properties will then act as demonstration sites that other landholders can visit to see how they can revegetate in a precautionary way so as not to affect GGE colonies. An Expression of Interest form can be downloaded off this website. Ideally the type of sites we’re looking for are:Landholders who are sure they have GGE colonies on their property (have heard gurgle recently e.g. over winter)Landholders who are willing to fence and revegetate certain areasStreamside sites or south facing slopes as these are typical GGE habitatA dairy farm in particular to see how the worms cope with this type of intensive land useExpress Your InterestIf you would like to participate in this exciting project, please express your interest.If you have any queries, please contact us.GGE Information Session & Field Day PhotographsClick here to view more photographs from the day.
Wilma, Beverley & Peter
Beverley exposed the first few centimetres of soil to look for GGE burrows and showthe lovely clay soils preferred by these giants