Witta Nature Refuge
The Witta reserve is a freehold block 7.3 ha in extent located near Maleny, in south east Queensland. Mr Legh Davis from South Australia donated the land to WLFL.
The land supports endangered regional ecosystems. Rainforest occurs in the gully with eucalypt forests on the protected eastern slopes. The western slopes show the ravages of past use and fire. Rehabilitation is needed on these slopes.
Witta is home to the Richmond Birdwing butterfly and probably two endangered frogs. It is likely that detailed studies will reveal other species of interest. The land is a key link in a wildlife corridor.
A conservation covenant is registered on the title and the land is registered as Land for Wildlife. In addition, an easement agreement for access have been registered with the adjoining landholder.
A management committee has been established for this property. Members of the Committee are Les Hall, Greg Whiteman, Graeme Chapman and John Birbeck (WLFL director). Nick Clancy of the Caloundra City Council acts in a technical advisory capacity to the committee.
The Witta reserve is being managed in accordance with an agreed Plan of Management (clicking this link downloads a copy of the plan).
A significant effort has been made since 2005 to control the weeds (particularly groundsel) on the reserve, supported in part by grants from the Caloundra City Council and the excellent efforts of members of the Fraser Coast and Pine Rivers branches of WPSQ.
Weeds still require control, particularly groundsel and morning glory. Lantana has also been growing, but action by the Barung Landcare team (contracted by WLFL) is keeping the problem under control.
Members of the Board visit the reserve regularly and there have been reports of birdwing butterflies in large numbers. Birdwing vines, the insect’s preferred habitat plant, have been planted to encourage the butterflies, and some fig trees. Nest boxes have been installed across the block and there are signs that almost all are occupied.