Looking for landholders: Habitat trees for Phascogales
Posted on 10 July, 2023 by Ivan
Do you have large old trees on your grazing property? Are you in the Mount Alexander region? Do you want to protect your large old trees and increase habitat for local fauna?
Connecting Country has been successful in securing funding to create habitat ‘stepping stones’ across the landscape with our project ‘habitat trees for Phascogales’. Working with private landholders we will improve habitat connectivity and resilience of local flora and fauna in times of climatic stress.
The Mount Alexander Shire is home to many threatened wildlife species that survive in the fragmented woodlands across our region. Large old trees and the hollows they provide are vital habitat for many of these species. One of the species that relies on large old trees is the Brush-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa), also known as the Tuan. This a small, nocturnal, carnivorous marsupial, a little larger than a domestic rat and with a very distinctive bushy tail.
In Victoria, the Brush-tailed Phascogale was once widespread, but now has a fragmented distribution. The Brush-tailed Phascogale is a threatened species listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and considered Vulnerable in Victoria. One of its strongholds is around Central Victoria and the Mount Alexander region.
The aim of the project is to protect large old trees across our region, with a particular focus on enhancing habitat for the Brush-tailed Phascogale. We’ll achieve this through practical on-ground actions including; revegetation, stock grazing exclusion around old trees, installation of nestboxes, and strategic weed and pest animal control. We will work with key landholders and focus on a plan for their property and the old trees it contains.
The Habitat Trees for Phascogales project is supported by the Victorian Government through the Nature Fund and the Ian and Shirley Norman Foundation.
Looking for local landholders
We are looking for landholders in the Mount Alexander Shire area who are interested in participating.
Appropriate candidates will have:
- large old trees in grazing land that can be fenced off from stock grazing.
- a willingness to retain fallen limbs, leaf litter and rocky outcrops in these fenced plots.
- a commitment to ongoing low-level maintenance of plantings and of weed and pest animal control.
If your property is suitable for the project, we will:
- Visit your property to identify large old trees and assess their potential for phascogale habitat.
- Develop a written property management plan setting out on-ground actions to protect large old trees and enhance habitat connectivity on your property.
- Provide contractor support and materials for fencing and planting ‘stepping stones’.
- Provide contractor support for weed and rabbit control within the project area.
- Provide suitable indigenous understory plants to help protect large old trees, increase habitat and food plants for fauna including the Brush-tailed Phascogale.
Landholder expressions of interest
If you meet the criteria above and are keen to protect and restore old trees on your land, please complete our expression of interest form – EOI Click Here
Please return your expression of interest form to Connecting Country via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Expressions of interest close on 13 August 2023.
To learn more about the Brush-tailed Phascogale, click here