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Conservation project protects 30,000 hectares

Thirty thousand hectares of public and private property between the Lerderderg State Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and the Brisbane Ranges is the target of a large-scale pest plant and animal control project.

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Conservation project protects 30,000 hectares

The three year project being led by the Grow West program is working to protect and enhance threatened plants and animals in Melbourne’s west by creating a nature corridor between the reserves.  

The region is home to a number of significant species, including the Swift Parrot, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Growling Grass Frog, Diamond Firetail, Bacchus March Varnish Wattle, Clover Glycine and Velvet Daisy Bush.

The nature corridor will provide a life-saving boost to these iconic species by expanding their habitat and helping them adapt to environmental change.

During its first year, the project has achieved the following successes:

·         600 hectares of the Werribee Gorge State Park and the Long Forest Conservation Area have been surveyed and treated for Serrated Tussock

·         10,000 hectares of the Brisbane Ranges National Park have been treated for invasive weeds including Sallow Wattle, Gorse and African Love Orchid

·         5,600 hectares of the Brisbane Ranges National Park have been surveyed for feral cats, with traps set

·         1,029 hectares of the Werribee Gorge have been treated for rabbits

·         16,646 hectares of the Brisbane Ranges National Park have been surveyed for deer, with five control programs undertaken

·         10,000 hectares in the Lerderderg State Park have been surveyed for feral goats, with 64 controlled.

Works were completed by Trust for Nature and Parks Victoria, with the support of the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority.

The project is a collaboration between government organisations, local councils, landowners, Traditional Owners and Landcare and Friends of groups and is funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action grants program.

Main photo: Velvet Daisy Bush courtesy Chris Clarke.
Inset: Growling Grass Frog courtesy James Booth.