David and Marie Lowe are the owners of Plateau’s Edge, a property situated in Erica, approximately 170km east of Melbourne, Victoria. The property is a wildlife-friendly sanctuary as well as a residence, lifestyle block and alpaca farm. David and Marie wish to maintain the property’s forest for the benefit of wildlife while managing cleared areas as grazing land and firebreaks. They plan to improve the land by clearing invasive species such as blackberry, thistle and ragwort. David and Marie have been members of Mountain Rivers Landcare Group for 20 years and the property is registered with Land for Wildlife.
Plateau’s Edge spans 10.94 hectares, with 5.5 hectares comprised of grazing pasture and 3.5 hectares comprised of native forest boasting numerous large mountain grey gums (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa), mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans), blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) and silver wattle (Acacia dealbata). The remaining land consists of a mix of fern gullies, wet forest, damp forest, warm temperate forest and native grassland.
Wildlife present includes swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor), eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), microbats, antechinuses, bandicoots, burrowing crayfish (Engaeus spp.) and frogs. Short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus) are also common visitors to the property in the spring.
A wide range of reptiles is also present including lace monitors (Varanus varius), skinks, tiger snakes (Notechis scutatus), eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) and red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus). Feral species have also been spotted, including sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
The property is also home to an array of birdlife, with over 32 species identified including wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), white ibises (Threskiornis molucca), eastern spinebills (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), thornbills and spur-winged plovers (Vanellus spinosus), which nest on the property every year.