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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

7 September 2001

COMMONWEALTH SUPPORT FOR VICTORIA'S UNIQUE WILDLIFE


The threatened Swift Parrot, McIvor Spider Orchid and Clover Glycine are among a number of species that stand a better chance of survival after the announcement today of Federal Government funding to Victorian community groups.

Four community groups have received funding totalling $88,900 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program to undertake action to help safeguard the future of some of Victoria's threatened biodiversity.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said the latest funding complemented more than 10,000 Natural Heritage Trust projects across the country that have Commonwealth support in protecting species through work like feral animal control and habitat protection.

Speaking at this year's National Threatened Species Day event in Brisbane, Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill announced total funding of over $520,000 to 40 community groups across Australia through round four of the Grants.

"The Threatened Species Network Community Grants, a joint initiative of the Federal Government's $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), not only assist in saving our unique flora and fauna but also reward community groups with the recognition they deserve," Senator Hill said.

"Local communities in Victoria play a vital role in helping to save Australia's unique and precious threatened species. Two Victorian projects funded this year adopt a regional approach to threatened species protection and encompass six smaller community projects.

"Community groups in the Bendigo region have received $30,000 funding to protect ecological communities such as the Creekline Grassy Woodland, Alluvial Terraces and the Temperate Woodland Bird Community.

"Other works will protect and enhance the habitat of a range of threatened species, including the Swift Parrot and the McIvor Spider Orchid. The groups will also ensure effective control of predators and weeds, habitat restoration and enhanced community participation.

"Community groups in the Castlemaine area will use their $45,000 funding to improve and protect the habitat of threatened plants including the Purple Eyebright and the Clover Glycine. On-ground action will also protect ecological communities such as the Creekline Grassy Woodland, Alluvial Terraces Herb-rich Woodland and the Temperate Woodland Bird Community. The project also involves works to control predators and weeds as well as habitat restoration."

WWF Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr David Butcher highlighted the importance of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants program in building community interest in conservation activities.

"Australia has one of the world's most megadiverse ecosystems, yet many of our native species are currently at risk of extinction," Dr Butcher said.

"The conservation work that is funded through this important partnership between WWF, community groups throughout Australia and the Federal government is a vital step toward creating awareness of Australia's unique environment by encouraging community participation in a range of projects and conservation initiatives that will help conserve native wildlife.

"Conserving threatened species and ecosystems has been the foundation of WWF's work internationally for 40 years and WWF is pleased to continue this relationship with Victorian communities and the Natural Heritage Trust."

National Threatened Species Day is held on 7 September each year to commemorate the day that the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936. A list of Victorian projects funded in 2001-02 is attached.

September 7, 2001

Contacts:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Rosslyn Beeby (WWF) (02) 9281 5515 or 0419 520 960


VICTORIAN THREATENED SPECIES NETWORK GRANT RECIPIENTS

For further information on any of the projects listed here or to get in contact with proponents, please contact the Victorian Threatened Species Network coordinator:
Annie Grindrod
C/- Victorian National Parks Association
Ph: (03) 9650 8296
Fax: (03) 9654 6843
Email: tsnvic@ozemail.com.au

Project Title: Protection & Enhancement of Threatened Species Habitat in the Goldfield Bioregion - Bendigo South Zone
Grant: $30,000
Proponent: Community groups in the Bendigo South Zone including Tree Project, Upper Spring Creek Landcare Group, Ravenswood Valley Landcare Group, North Harcourt/Sedgwick Landcare Group
Project Summary: Community Groups in the region will act to protect and enhance the habitat of a range of threatened species, including the Swift Parrot and Endangered McIvor Spider Orchid and the Vulnerable Pink-tailed Worm Lizard. They will also be working to protect threatened ecological communities, including Creekline Grassy Woodland, Alluvial Terraces and the Temperate Woodland Bird Community. On-ground works include integrated control of predators and weeds, habitat restoration and enhancing community participation. The project is an excellent example of good integrated community involvement in regional planning and on-ground action.

Project Title: Protection & Enhancement of Threatened Species Habitat in the Goldfields Bioregion - Castlemaine Zone
Grant: $45,000
Proponent: Community groups in the Castlemaine Zone
Project Summary: Community groups in the Castlemaine area of the Goldfields Bioregion will act to secure the habitat of a range of threatened flora and fauna, including the Endangered Purple Eyebright, and to protect threatened ecological communities including Creekline Grassy Woodland, Herb-rich Woodland and the Temperate Woodland Bird Community. Key aspects of the project are integrated control of predators and weeds, habitat restoration and enhancing community participation.

Project Title: Restoration of Degraded Mosslands in the Victorian Alps
Grant: $9000
Proponent: Bogong High Plains Restoration Alliance
Project Summary: This project will help to conserve one of the most important and fragile plant communities in the Victorian Alps. The community group involved will use on-ground rehabilitation and restoration techniques and will train Park rangers in the use of these techniques. In the longer term this project will lead to a better appreciation and recognition of the value of Mosslands in the Victorian Alps and the need for their sustainable management.

Project Title: Striped Legless Lizard Habitat Enhancement: Yea Cemetery and Local Roadsides
Grant: $4900
Proponent: Upper Goulburn Catchment Group
Project Summary: The Striped Legless Lizard, Delmar impar, is classified as nationally Vulnerable and is known to occur in various native grassland and grassy woodland sites in the Alexandra area, including the old Yea cemetery and roadsides between Yea and Mansfield with suitable habitat. This project aims to enhance the known habitat through removal of weeds, community education, monitoring/survey work and encouraging private landholders to maintain existing habitats on their lands. This project involves a good collaboration between a range of community groups and the Department of Natural Resources and Energy.

Commonwealth of Australia