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Project:

October 7, 2016 gumption

Biodiversity Refugia and Linkages

This project is designed to work at a landscape scale across the South West NRM Region to protect biodiversity and restore ecosystem function and resilience. The focus is the protection of flora and fauna species, particularly nationally listed threatened species, and TECs (Threatened Ecological Communities), by increasing connectivity in the landscape and restoring priority habitats.

Four priority Land for Wildlife Properties have been identified in this first year of the project. On-ground activities are underway and will continue over the next two years, including weed control, fencing and revegetation to improve vegetation condition and connectivity.

The Western Ringtail Possum, nationally listed as a threatened species, was identified as a priority for conservation action as part of the project. This involves capturing individuals from the southern forest population around Manjimup and translocating them into the predator free and fenced Perup Sanctuary near Tonebridge.

To date 15 individuals have been translocated and two months postrelease they are all doing well. Monitoring will continue over the next two years to determine the long term success of this action in conserving and protecting this important South West species.

Fifteen southern forest Western Ringtail Possum individuals were captured and released into the 420ha predator free enclosure of Perup Sanctuary, as an ‘insurance population’. This is considered an appropriate management strategy for this threatened species. Monitoring of the released animals will continue until the project’s completion in June 2018, to determine the success of this conservation action.

In addition to this, 11.4 km of fencing has been installed on priority private property, protecting 200ha of remnant native vegetation and creekline areas from grazing pressure from stock, kangaroos and rabbits.

There was 15.5ha of site preparation work undertaken, followed by revegetation of9.7ha with 11,844 seedlings and 2.2kg seed, to further improve vegetation condition and connectivity. An eventwas also held to promote thework, attracting 44 participants.

This work is taking place on four priority Land for Wildlife properties in the SWCC NRM Region. These properties contain priority habitats for nationally listed rare and threatened species, including the Western Ringtail Possum, Quenda, White and Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Numbat, Chuditch and Red-tailed Phascogale.

“The bonus [of regenerating the land] is that is it fascinating to watch and be part of. The birds and reptiles are my special joy, but everyone can find something in bushland to enrich their life.”
Valerie Hopkins, one of the Land for Wildlife registered property owners involved in the project.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS

The planned project activities for 2016-17 include the consolidation of works completed to date, through follow-up weed control and infill planting.

Additional on-ground work is to be carried out on priority Land for Wildlife properties, to enhance threatened species habitat and improve landscape connectivity.

The translocated Western Ringtail Possums will be closely monitored, gathering data to determine the success of the conservation action and to assist in planning future projects.

FUN FACT

Our sensor cameras have shown that we have been getting some interesting visitors to one of the Land for Wildlife properties involved in this project, from curious kangaroos, rabbits and rats to the shy quenda and inquisitive small birds.

FUNDING RECIPIENTS

  • Private landholders (four Land for Wildlife registered property owners)
  • Department of Parks and Wildlife
COMMITMENT
4 km fencing installed
66%
ACHIEVEMENT
11.4 km fencing installed
100%

COMMITMENT
6 ha site preparation completed
100%
ACHIEVEMENT
15.6 ha site preparation completed
100%

Project Manager

Jodie Deeley, Derani Sullivan

Key Partners