Tyrendarra Indigenous Protected Area
|Indigenous Protected Area
|Darlot Creek, 20 kms south of Lake Condah in southwest Victoria.
|Cultural Heritage | Environmental Heritage | Land Management
|The Tyendarra Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) was declared on 12 December 2003, being the second IPA declared in Victoria. The property is owned and managed by Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation on behalf of the Gunditjamara people. The area covers 248 hectares in the Victorian Volcanic Plains bioregion. It has significant natural and cultural heritage values. In addition, the Tyendarra IPA borders three other properties which Winda Mara hopes ultimately to include in the IPA. One of these is Mount Eccles National Park. The plans which Winda Mara and the Aboriginal community have for the IPA are consistent with the Lake Conda Sustainable Development Project which aims to develop the area for the benefit of the South-West region of Victoria.
|Well before the establishment of the Anglican Mission at Lake Condah in 1868, Tyrendarra and the local area were important traditional gathering and camping places for the Gunditjamara people. The Aboriginal community farmed eels both for consumption and trade in possibly one of Australia's earliest aquaculture operations. Field surveys of the property have recorded 267 cultural sites including 129 stone huts at Lake Condah and the surrounding areas. Evidence of Indigenous engineering is also evident in the remnants of weirs, channels, eel traps and stone dwellings. The IPA and aurrounding area constitute the Budj Bim National heritage Landscape which was listed on the National Heritage List in 2004.
Important ecological values are also in evidence in the IPA. The landcsape shows signs of having been created by volcanic activity and lava flows from Mount Eccles. There are also vegetation communities and plant species which are rare and endangered in Australia. These include the curly sedge and the flax lily. Manna Gums and wetland areas are also significant. In terms of fauna, surveys indicate 120 bird, 30 mammal, eight reptile and seven frog species. Several of these are classified as threatened species under federal and state legislation.
The Management projects for the IPA include koala management, restoration of natural water systems and feral animal control. The managerment of the IPA will focus on restoring the wetlands, reversing biodiversity loss, and encouraging regrowth of the Manna Gum woodland. Fencing repair, improvement of walking tracks, signage, weed control and the establishment of a revegetation program are also planned.