Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Biodiversity Response Planning: a new Connecting Country project

Posted on 13 September, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Biodiversity Response Planning projects announced

BRP planning – photo by DELWP

Over the six months, a diverse array of government, Traditional Owner 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 just 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 and will be delivered by various stakeholders over the next three years.

Connecting Country is excited to announce that our proposed project was selected for funding.

For the full list of successful projects visit: https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity/biodiversity-response-planning

Our project: Remnant rescue – restoring woodland bird habitat in central Victoria

Local landscape – photo by Bonnie Humphreys

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 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.

Within the Mount Alexander region, large areas of remnant woodlands and priority habitat exist on private land. Through our work, Connecting Country has identified numerous private landholders with the interest, enthusiasm and capacity to protect and restore woodland habitat on their land, but require guidance and practical assistance.

This project restores habitat for the Temperate Woodland Bird Community by focusing on weeds and rabbit control to promote natural regeneration of native species. We’ll supplement this by strategic revegetation with key missing understorey plants to increase species diversity and community complexity. The project targets 60 ha of priority areas of potential habitat on private land, engaging landholders to develop appropriate management actions tailored for their properties. We’ll also implement weed and rabbit control on 40 ha of complementary areas of public land.

Diamond Firetail – photo by Geoff Park

Connecting Country is proud to oversee the 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.

 

Turn your property into habitat for woodland birds

Posted on 8 February, 2018 by Frances

Would you like your property to provide a home for threatened birds and marsupials? We’re looking for keen local landholders with at least three hectares of remnant vegetation to set aside for our local wildlife.

Only one week left to get involved in our Prickly Plants for Wildlife project!

Trees are great, but small native animals need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. Due to a long history of gold mining, timber cutting, grazing, and introduction of rabbits and weeds, many of our woodlands are missing these important prickly shrubs. We’ll work with you to develop a plan specific for your property and needs. As well as planting key understorey species to enhance existing native vegetation, actions can include watering, weed control, rabbit control and ongoing maintenance. We’ll also provide financial support and advice to implement the plan.

Requirements for eligibility:

  • Local property: Your property must be located within the Shire of Mount Alexander, Victoria.
  • An area of at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We’ll also provide some financial support for on-ground actions such as planting, watering, pest control and maintenance. On-ground work will be overseen by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will manage any contractors on your property. However, we’ll be available to offer advice and help with any questions.

 

How to apply:

Please fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to bonnie@connectingcountry.org.au by Monday 19 February 2018. If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594.

Expression-Of-Interest-Form-Prickly-Plants

 

A prickly new project: get involved with Prickly Plants for Wildlife

Posted on 25 January, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Trees are great, but small birds and marsupials need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. We’re very happy to announce that Connecting Country has obtained funding for a new project called Prickly Plants for Wildlife.

This project will supply eligible landholders with valuable understorey plants that will enhance existing native vegetation, and provide habitat for many small birds such as Diamond Firetails, Superb Fairy-wrens, Scarlet Robins and Brown Thornbills.

This charming nest was built by a pair of Mistletoebirds at Bonnie’s property, in a hedge wattle. The white fluff is from an old couch!

Prickly plant species include Bushy Needlewood (Hakea decurrens), Tree Violet (Melicytus dentatus), Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), and acacias such as Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa) and Spreading Wattle (Acacia genistifolia).  These plants are depleted or missing from our local area, and we would like to lend a helping hand to see these plants back in the landscape and on local properties.

Requirements for eligibility

  • Property with at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We will also supply some financial support, and then it is over to you!  Planting, watering, pest control and maintenance will be carried out by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will be in charge of managing contractors on your property. Of course we will be on deck for any information or questions as needed.

How to apply

All interested landholders are encouraged to fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to bonnie@connectingcountry.org.au. Or to find out more about your eligibility, call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594. If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Prickly Plants for Wildlife project, we will keep you on file for future opportunities.

Expression-Of-Interest-Form-Prickly-Plants

A Brown Thornbill in the safety of a prickly Hedge Wattle. Photo by Geoff Park

Expressions of interest close Monday 19 February 2018.