Yarra Ranges grants boost threatened species

4 September 2015

Yarra Ranges landholders are receiving grants totalling $65,000 to improve habitats for threatened species including the Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater’s Possum. This is the first round of grants under the $769,000 Protecting and Connecting Threatened Species in the Yarra Ranges’ project, funded from the regional delivery stream of the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme. The project is being coordinated by the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority. Project coordinator, Mary-Kate Hockey from the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority (PPWCMA), said these landholder grants are part of a package of activities to help local native animals. “We are now starting the third year of this five year project. Activities so far have included development of a detailed ecological character description of the area. Now, in line with the planning, we are focussing on on-ground work to improve habitat at priority sites. More landholder grants will be available in the coming years”, she said. The landholder works will include fencing off existing vegetation, planting native vegetation, removing weeds and reducing the impact of pest animals such as foxes, deer and rabbits. Federal Environment Minister, Hon Greg Hunt MP said, “The National Landcare Programme’s regional delivery funding is helping communities across Australia undertake important projects that have an impact on their local environment and native species. Improving the habitat for threatened species works best when government works in partnership with local communities.” “Projects such as this one in the Yarra Ranges play a vital role in retaining our native animal species. The recent summit highlighted the plight of threatened species across the nation and this project will help secure habitats and the long-term future for two of the species in the new Threatened Species Action Plans”, said Minister Hunt. For more information on the ‘Protecting and Connecting Threatened Species in the Yarra Ranges’ project, visit http://www.yarra4life.com.au/investors/australian-government.aspx or contact the PPWCMA on 03 8781 7900. For more information about the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, visit www.nrm.gov.au