Fog

Victory for Local Wildlife

Tuesday 16 September, 2008
Endangered bird species and other native fauna in the Strathmerton area are now reaping the benefits from a conservation management revegetation program first implemented in 2002.

Endangered bird species and other native fauna in the Strathmerton area are now reaping the benefits from a conservation management revegetation program first implemented in 2002.

Jim Castles Conservation Management Network Coordinator at the GB CMA reflected on the success of the program, which over the past six years has seen almost 50 hectares of indigenous trees and shrubs planted and more than 60 hectares of remnant vegetation protected by fencing.

"The program has enhanced indigenous vegetation in many parts of the area which is great news for our flora and fauna,"

"The idea behind the plantings was to "link up" patches of bush with wildlife corridors. Fauna, in particular birds, use the corridors to travel between vegetation patches. Some birds (including endangered Grey-crowned Babblers) won't fly across open paddocks because of the possibility of being taken by a hawk or a falcon."

In 2002, landholders in the Strathmerton area were approached by extension officers and offered environmental incentives to fence and enhance remnant vegetation on their properties.

Landholder Philip Ross Soden from Strathmerton was approached by Jim Castles to plant some trees on his property.

Since then, with assistance of Conservation Volunteers Australia, Mr. Ross Soden has revegetated more than 10 hectares of land adjoining roadsides inhabited by Grey - crowned Babblers. The first planting, covering more than 5 hectares, took place in 2002, consisting of 2.5 kilometres of 20 metre wide corridors to increase the width of roadsides in the area.

In 2003, Mr. Ross Soden increased the width of the corridors to 30 - 50 metres and employed contractors to complete the plantings.

"We've noticed so many more birds in recent years since the revegetation, it's a good feeling to know that you are helping the local environment in such a way," Mr. Ross Soden said.

"We planted fourteen different indigenous species on the property from River Red Gum, Buloke, Willow Wattle and Eastern Cottonbush to Gold Dust Wattle, Mallee Wattle, Sweet Bursaria, Ruby Saltbush and the list goes on."

Once they are established the plants have no need for water, meaning that there are no on-going costs for Mr. Ross Soden and other property owners involved in the program.

Financial incentives were offered to landholders ranging from $1.00 - $2.00 for trees and shrubs (maximum of $2.50) and $1.20 - $4.00 per metre of fencing (maximum of $5.00), depending on the area of works, the type of works and the Ecological Vegetation Class (EVC) in the immediate area.

Higher incentives were offered to landholders in high priority nature conservation zones who protected and enhanced large areas of remnant vegetation on their properties, planted wide corridors linking remnant vegetation, and planted large "clumps" of trees and shrubs. There are minimum standards for protective fencing and the trees and shrubs must be indigenous to the area and grown from local seed.

Environmental Management Incentives are still available from the Department of Primary Industries Environmental Management Program at Tatura on 58 335 222.

Release Ends

For more information please contact

Jim Castles at GB CMA on 0427 053 700
Stacey Brauman at Impress Publicity on 0400 644 637