Climate change and protecting habitat

“I think sometimes we need to take a step back and just remember we have no greater right to be here than any other animal.” ― Sir David Attenborough

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Every single creature and plant on our planet, from tiny Sugar Gliders right through to the majestic Mountain Ash trees of our cool temperate forests, is in danger as our climate changes.

Australia has just declared the first mammal extinction in the world due to climate change. The Bramble Cay Melomys (Melomys rubicola) was a coast-dwelling rodent. Its last known population was swept out to sea after a Torres Strait island was swamped by a storm surge.

We can’t let Victoria’s wildlife and ecosystems follow the same fate.

The five-yearly State of the Environment Report identified biodiversity as deteriorating in many parts of the state and habitat loss as a significant concern.

Watch what makes Trust for Nature different and the impact we’re having.   

Read a message from our conservation scientist

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Fewer than 50 individuals of the Orange-bellied Parrot are estimated to remain in the wild and there is a major effort happening to boost the population with captive-bred birds.

Much of their former coastal saltmarsh habitat in south-eastern Australia has already been cleared or highly modified.  Now the remaining areas are at high risk of inundation over the next 50 to 100 years because of sea-level rise. 

The Trust can help to protect adjacent private land on higher ground to allow the ‘migration’ of the saltmarsh habitat over time, providing future habitat opportunities for these critically endangered parrots and other saltmarsh species.

The problem can seem enormous, but your support really can make a difference. Two-thirds of land in our state is privately owned; if we worked with more property owners to place covenants on their land, we’d have an even better chance of protecting the natural places, plants and animals we love. A conservation covenant is a legal promise to nature to protect your land forever, even when ownership changes.

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We asked some children to draw pictures of what climate change meant to them and it was heartwarming to see how positive they were, we owe it to them to help protect Victoria’s natural heritage forever. 

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Every gift, whatever you can manage, makes a difference.

  • $25 can buy fast-growing tree seedlings to protect creeks and create habitat corridors
  • $50 could fund a nest box for native birds to raise their chicks
  • $100 can help buy a trail camera to monitor wildlife
  • $250 can assist with pest control to protect native wildlife from feral predators.

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Projects awaiting funding

1. Drought-proofing Wanderers Plain - $5,000

Wanderers Plain is a 2400+ hectare reserve that contains a nationally endangered ecological community of Buloke Woodlands but no permanent water source.

The installation of a large tank would avoid the 52km round trip the Trust staff need to complete twice a fortnight to cart water and keep new plantings alive.  The water reserve would also be used for fire suppression if required.

2. Cool season burn at Naringaningalook - $5,000

The Naringaningalook Grassland Reserve, with its endangered Plains Grassy Woodlands, has infestations of annual exotic grasses that are difficult to control. The Trust proposes to engage the Yorta Yorta Traditional Owner works crew to assist with site preparation and then the CFA to perform a cool season burn. 

This would also support a current PhD research project, the results of which are intended to better inform management practices in the reserve.

3. Equipment for ecology - $5,000

Committed volunteers help manage a dozen of the Trust’s reserves, undertaking pest control, weed control and re-vegetation or supplementary activities.  This project will assist their work by providing specialised equipment or tools required to help conserve threatened plants or whole vegetation communities.  $5000 could be strategically utilised across a number of reserves to enable the installation of 4 steel cages to protect threatened species of orchids, install two hygiene stations to stop soil pathogens, complete $1,000 worth of fencing work, and provide 2 hand tool kits (including saws, pruners, gloves, and first aid packs) to volunteers.

4. Fund the future - $16,500

A conservation covenant is a voluntary, legal agreement made between a private landholder and Trust for Nature that protects land forever.  While landholders are not charged a fee for covenanting, this process has a total cost of close to $30,000.  Currently $16,500 of this is allocated to Trust for Nature’s Stewardship Program, a program that provides ongoing landholder support and advice and management plan reviews.

Your contribution will help fund the stewardship of ecological significant properties and in turn help protect some of Victoria’s most threatened species.

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