|Baluk Willam Nature Conservation Reserve supports a diverse range of flora. However, because of the park's small size, endemic species are particularly vulnerable to threats.|
As with much bushland adjoining long-term settlement, weeds compete with endemic vegetation in the reserve. The Friends group is actively involved with weed management. Some parts of the reserve are fairly pristine while others, such as road edges, contain more exotic flora.
Weeds invade from surrounding properties (wind borne and transported by animals) as well as occasional illegal dumping of garden waste and other rubbish.
Some areas of the reserve suffer from erosion. This includes washouts on the track along the east of Courtneys Road, exacerbated by such things as horses. Because of erosion this track below the loop tracks has been closed.
Even inappropriate use by those interested in the flora of the reserve has an impact. Trampling has occurred in some areas (where people have been searching for something particular). And stepping on to the road bank, to gain a closer look some orchids, is causing concern at one location in particular (see the image to the right). This action is slowly wearing away the soil below the orchids and eventually will lead to its collapse.
Phytophthora cinnamomi (cinnamon fungus or root rot) is a pathogenic soil fungus. It affects many native species, eventually killing them. It is spread by spores in soil, that can be on shoes, hooves and wheels.
It has been found at the west ad north-east of the reserve (where the creeks flow in) and at the south-east (where the creek flows out). It is reasonable to assume it also exists in other areas and along much of the creek beds.
Because of the Phytophthora in these areas, the Orchid Road extension to Denham Road (along the western boundary) has been closed and the tracks in the south-east are closed.