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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

6 September 2002

$68,000 to Help Protect NT's Threatened Species


The Great Desert Skink, Woma Python, Bilby and Malleefowl are among a number of nationally threatened species that stand a better chance of long-term survival after the today’s announcement of Commonwealth Government funding for Northern Territory community groups.

The Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced that four Northern Territory community groups received a total of $68,020 through the Natural Heritage Trust Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program to help protect the State’s rich biodiversity. Dr Kemp was represented by the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Heritage, Dr Sharman Stone, at a special event at Melbourne Zoo today to announce the Grants.

“The Threatened Species Network Community Grants are a joint initiative of the Howard Government’s $2.7 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the World Wide Fund For Nature which are designed to assist in the fight to save our unique plants and animals,” Dr Kemp said.

“A total of 36 projects in urban and rural communities around Australia received funding of over $496,000 in the fifth round of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants. These projects will undertake conservation activities to benefit 51 plant and animal species and five ecological communities listed as nationally threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999,” Dr Stone said.

Dr Kemp also said that community groups in the Northern Territory play a vital role in helping to protect these species.

“Commonwealth funding announced for Northern Territory projects today will integrate the knowledge and experience of traditional owners with modern conservation techniques to deliver on-ground outcomes,” Dr Kemp said.

“These projects represent a community-level response to broader natural resource management issues and are a valuable way of capacity building for local communities and landholders throughout the Northern Territory.

“For example, over $37,000 has been provided to two indigenous projects designed to help locate healthy populations of the Great Desert Skink, or Tjakura. The Ngaanyatjarra Council received $16,000 to help traditional owners continue their work with a recovery team and ecologists surveying potential habitat. This funding will allow them to record all active burrows in a comprehensive database, look at the impacts of feral predators and extend a patch-burning program to improve existing habitat.

“The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Land Management group received $21,000 to protect known Tjakura populations on Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands. As well as on-ground works such as patch-burning, traditional owners will also use their knowledge of the land to search for additional populations and will be trained in Global Information System techniques to assist in record keeping and evaluation.

“Over $9,000 has been provided to assist Indigenous rangers determine the distribution and biology of the Gove Crow Butterfly, a species which has only been found in four tiny monsoon vine thickets on Gove Peninsula. The rangers will work with traditional owners to identify threats to the species and increase awareness of the conservation actions required for its long-term protection.” Dr Kemp said.

WWF Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr David Butcher said a significant component in the success of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants was the contribution of local communities around Australia.

“Community involvement in threatened species conservation is crucial to the survival of Australia's unique animals, plants and ecosystems. These grants are a vital step toward encouraging communities to step into the role of custodians of their local environment. The impact of community participation in conservation work cannot be underestimated,” Dr Butcher said.

Today’s announcement is particularly timely with tomorrow being National Threatened Species Day. This annual awareness-raising event is held on 7 September to commemorate the day that the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936.

A full list of Northern Territory projects funded through the Natural Heritage Trust Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2002-03 is attached.

To obtain a copy of the National Threatened Species Day information kit please contact free-call 1800 803 772 or for further information please visit the Environment Australia web site at: www.ea.gov.au/tsd.

Media contacts:
Devena Wahlstrom Dr Kemp's office (02) 6277 7640 or 0412 257 334
Rosslyn Beeby WWF (02) 9281 5515 or 0419 520 960

Related Information

Commonwealth of Australia