Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Biodiversity Response Planning: project update

Posted on 30 April, 2020 by Ivan

During six months of 2018, a diverse array of government, Traditional Owners and community organisations from across Victoria came together to participate in an intense Biodiversity Response Planning process. Connecting Country was one of these organisations!

After a lot of hard work, 89 new projects were announced by the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, including 85 projects for on-ground biodiversity action worth $33.67 million. These projects are part of the government’s investment to implement ‘Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037’ to be delivered by various stakeholders.

Connecting Country was excited to be selected for funding through our project: Remnant rescue – restoring woodland bird habitat in central Victoria.

Connecting Country is proud to have overseen this three year project in collaboration with our project partners: local landholders, Dja Dja Wurrung, Trust for Nature, Parks Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The project extends to the end of June 2021.

To date we have achieved some excellent on-ground outcomes, as well as building landholder capacity to understand their land and restore woodland bird habitat on their land. We have delivered strategic revegetation across 150 hectares of land, adding much-needed diversity and habitat, including may prickly understorey shrubs. Planting included locally threatened species such as Late-flowered Flax-lily (Dianella tarda) and Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii). We have also delivered weed and rabbit control across 190 hectares of private and public land, which will allow for natural regeneration of many indigenous plant species.

Project highlights

Some project highlights so far:

  • Meeting landholders and walking around beautiful properties.
  • Working with keen and enthusiastic landholders to support them to commence landscape restoration.
  • Collaborating with project partners to help our local environment and restore important habitat.
  • Empowering landholders to manage their land for biodiversity.

 

Landscape Restoration Coordinator, Bonnie Humphreys, said ‘The project has allowed Connecting Country to align our habitat restoration goals in priority areas with the State Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning. We are delighted to deliver the on-ground works to our regional landowners, and contribute our skills to restoring native vegetation and ecological assets in the region’.

Project property in Walmer with a new fence protecting regenerating Buloke plants from stock grazing (photo by Connecting Country)

 

Why is this project important?

We know that much of central Victoria’s native woodland has been heavily disturbed by a long history of mining, clearing, woodcutting, grazing, and changes in fire and water regimes. The Box-Ironbark landscape contains provides habitat for many threatened species including members of the threatened Temperate Woodland Bird Community. Scientific studies demonstrate an alarming acceleration in the decline of most species within this community over recent years.

Habitat loss is the single greatest threat to woodland birds, and exacerbates other threats, such as predation by cats and foxes, and prolonged drought. Many of the remaining woodlands lack complexity and are missing the key understorey species that provide food, nesting sites and protection from predators for woodland birds and other animals.

Gorse treated at Cascades in Metcalfe to allow regeneration of critical native understorey species (photo by Connecting Country)

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