Victorian agencies including DELWP, Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and Melbourne Water invest significant resources in wetland management, including undertaking weed control, revegetation and fencing to manage livestock access. The Wetland Intervention Monitoring Program (WIMP) is a state-wide, long-term program for assessing the effectiveness of management activities commonly applied in wetlands. A range of activities will be evaluated over different phases of the program.

About 80% of the State's wetlands are on private land, and fencing to manage livestock access is one of the most common management actions.  Although livestock grazing in wetlands is often detrimental to wetland condition, in some cases, if carefully managed, it can be beneficial. WIMP Phase 1 aims to understand responses of wetland vegetation to changed management of cattle and sheep grazing, determining whether responses vary depending on wetland type or location in the landscape.

Phase I will examine:

  • complete exclusion of livestock
  • crash grazing (high intensity, short duration) and restricted seasonal grazing

Vegetation will be assessed over time at:

  • ‘intervention’ sites where a change in grazing management will be made, and
  • ‘control’ sites where the current grazing management will continue.

This design will ensure that vegetation responses to changed grazing management can be distinguished from other causes of vegetation change, such as variation in climatic conditions over time.

Results from Phase I will help identify ways we can improve grazing management guidance and better target future government investment in grazing management for healthy wetland outcomes.

Stock exclusion fencing through this wetland shows the contrast in vegetation

Researchers inspecting the condition of a wetlands

Plants in a healthy wetland

WIMP has been developed by DELWP and is being delivered in collaboration with CMAs, landholders and scientists. It will run from 2017 to 2020.

For more information contact: kaylene.morris@delwp.vic.gov.au

The following fact sheet provides more detail about Phase 1:

Page last updated: 04/12/2018