Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Remnant rescue for woodland birds – looking for eligible landholders

Posted on 3 August, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Connecting Country is currently seeking expressions of interest for on ground works on private land. In particular, we are looking for  landholders with remnant vegetation on their properties who are interested in undertaking actions that improve woodland bird habitat.

Thanks to our recently announced “Woodland bird community habitat protection and enhancement” project, we have a small amount of funding available for the protection and enhancement of 60 ha of remnant vegetation. Building connections between bushland areas through direct seeding  and revegetation with tubestock is very important, but at the same time we need to care for our remnants; the core habitat.  This project will fund actions that protect bird habitat from threats such as stock grazing and weeds.

This male Scarlet Robin needs extensive areas of good quality habitat to thrive. Photo by Geoff Park

Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, and a subsequent plant list and property habitat management plan.  Activities funded will mainly focus on fencing for stock exclusion and weed control within these remnants.

Eligibility for funding from this project will be determined according to the following factors:

  • Size of your remnant vegetation patch
  • Property location
  • Presence of threatened woodland birds

Having said that, all interested landholders are welcome to fill in the EOI form.  If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Remnant Rescue,  then we will keep you on file for future opportunities.

Click here to open the Expression Of Interest Form for Remnant Rescue
Deadline for EOIs: 24th September, 2017

Please send in the form to info@connectingcountry.org.au or post it to PO Box 437 Castlemaine 3450. If you have any questions about this funding opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Bonnie on 5472 1594.

This project is funded with the support of the Victorian Government’s Regional Biodiversity On-Ground Action Initiative.

Our resident plant enthusiast Bonnie Humphreys in a beautiful remnant patch in Yapeen

 

Threatened woodland birds get a bodyguard

Posted on 21 June, 2017 by naomi

Threatened woodland bird populations in the Mount Alexander region are being better protected through a new collaborative Connecting Country project. Over three years, $300,000 from the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative will help to protect, enhance and increase critical bird habitat in Box-Ironbark Forests in the Mount Alexander area. This area is important because it provides core habitat for the Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Community, which is listed under the Flora and Fauna Guaranteed Act and an indicator of the health of the landscape.

The Diamond Firetail is one of the threatened Woodland bird species to be targeted by the project.

Krista Patterson-Majoor, Connecting Country Director – Project Manager, explains; “Over recent years, we have seen a decline among most threatened species within this bird community. We are taking a team approach with this project and collaborating with Trust for Nature, Dja Dja Wurrung, North Central Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria, Landmate, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), local Landcare groups and private landholders to carry out a variety of environmental works to help protect the birds.”

Works funded will include having private land owners undertake weed control and fencing to protect remnant vegetation across 60 hectares. In exchange, the owners will set aside land for conservation for at least ten years, including stock grazing removal and pest control. This funded project aligns with our Woodland Bird Action plan which aims to stabilise and then increase the populations of local species by protecting and expanding their core habitat. Landholders who are interested in finding out more are encouraged to contact Connecting Country or fill out an  Expression-Of-Interest-Form-July-2017-Connecting-Country.

DELWP Program Manager, Biodiversity, Jill Fleming, said: “This community-led group has been working for more than 10 years to protect threatened woodland birds in the Mount Alexander region and it’s great to see them receive this funding that will help them, and all the partners, to continue this important work.” DELWP’s involvement will help to broaden the scope of the project and ensure works carried out on private land will be complemented by similar activities on 80 hectares of surrounding public land that has been strategically aligned with private landholders and woodland bird priority zones. “By controlling the weeds and removing stock grazing, we discourage non-native birds, who may displace the native ones, from using the same habitat,” Ms Fleming said.

Twenty-six large scale, multi-partner regional partnership projects totalling $7.7 million have been funded through the Regional Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative to address major risks to threatened species and ecosystems across the state. These projects will be delivered through regional partnerships between agencies, organisations, community, landholders and traditional owners. The list of projects is available at: www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity/biodiversity-on-groundaction 

Box Ironbark East Biodiversity Hub Steering Group Members (from left) – Chris Timewell (CC), Jill Fleming (DELWP), Matt Menhennet (Landmate), Tanya Loos (CC), Steve Comte (Landmate) Deanna Marshall (TFN), Krista Patterson-Majoor (CC) Bonnie Humphreys (CC), Britt Gregory (NCCMA), Kirsten Hutchinson (TFN) and Noel Muller (PV) – at our inaugural meeting in Castlemaine. Absent are Rodney Carter (DDW), Steve Jackson (DDW) and Adrian Martins (NCCMA).

 

NCCMA Community Grants Open Now

Posted on 23 May, 2017 by Asha

Applications for the 2017-18 North Central Community Grants Program are now open. Three types of grants are available:

  •  Maintenance (up to $500/group or network) and start-up grants (up to $500/group or $1,000/network)
  • Project grants of up to $10,000 are available for individuals and Landcare or community based NRM groups, and
  • Landcare networks are eligible for grants of up to $15,000.

Online applications are to be submitted before 5pm Friday 23 June 2017 via https://nccma.smartygrants.com.au. Application forms, guidelines and the online survey link are available under the Landcare Grants tab at www.nccma.vic.gov.au . The mandatory ‘Supporting Landcare in North Central Victoria survey’ that you need to fill out in order to apply has been extensively revised.

NCCMA will prioritise projects that improve the natural resource base of agricultural landscapes and encourage projects with a focus on improving soil health, innovative agricultural techniques and practices such as trialling pasture species under variable seasonal conditions, and activities that increase community awareness and engagement such as workshops to up-skilling volunteers and field days. To be successful, groups need to read the guidelines, map their proposed project activities and know their projects really well. Clarity of purpose is vital, as is a clear direction and focus, of both the project and the community.