News

Bush for Birds landholder grants announced

24 June 2020

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Trust for Nature and the North East Catchment Management Authority have announced the recipients of the first round of environmental grants through the Bush for Birds project.

The Bush for Birds project aims to protect, manage and increase habitat on private land for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot.

There are estimated to be fewer than 400 Regent Honeyeaters and 2,000 Swift Parrots left in the wild.

Landholders submitted expressions of interest (EOI) for funding for a range of activities including fencing remnant bushland, planting trees and shrubs, thinning dense regeneration and weed control.

Twenty-four landholders were successful in receiving funding, collectively they manage over 500 ha of remnant bushland and are undertaking more than 120 ha of revegetation.

Trust for Nature Regional Manager Will Ford said the project attracted a lot of attention which demonstrated the community’s interest in threatened species. 

He said, “Ninety EOIs were submitted for this first round of funding, which goes to show how important these iconic species are to the local community.”

“Landholders have been really keen to get involved and contribute to threatened species conservation in a practical way.”

Waldara landholders Barbara McDonald and Judy Bonwick’s grant application was successful.

Barbara said, “We were thrilled to hear that our project got the go ahead. “We think it’s really important to strike a balance between farm productivity and conservation, and this project will help us to achieve that.”

Will said their farm project contributes greatly to protecting threatened species: “This property sits between the Ovens River and the Warby Range, so it’s a really important part of the landscape from a wildlife connectivity perspective.

“The proposal included fencing a good quality patch of native woodland, managing invasive weeds to promote natural regeneration, and linking up areas of bush with strategic paddock tree plantings.

“More than 60 per cent of Victoria is private land, so landholders have a critical role to play in providing habitat for threatened species.” “I’m looking forward to working with such committed landholders to achieve some really positive conservation outcomes,” Will said.

The North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) will soon announce the second EOI round for the Bush for Birds Project.

North East CMA Senior Project Officer for Biodiversity Mark Cairns said, “Barb and Judy’s property is a great example of the type of project site suitable for investment. With Trust for Nature as a partner working at the grass roots level engaging landholders to protect remnants sites we are confident in attracting more quality applications in the second landholder grant round.”

Stay up to date with the latest funding opportunities by subscribing to the NRM Update Newsletter at necma.vic.gov.au.

Trust for Nature is one of Australia’s oldest conservation organisations, established by the Victorian Government in 1972 of the Victorian Parliament in 1972 to protect habitat on private land. It is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of supporters to help protect Victoria’s biodiversity.

The Bush for Birds project is supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority in partnership with Trust for Nature through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. For more information contact Will Ford on willf@tfn.org.au or 0418 300 959.

Media contact

Kathy Cogo, Media and Communications Manager, Trust for Nature, 0466 015 183, kathyc@tfn.org.au

Photo: Standing near a very old Yellow Box tree, landholders Barbara McDonald and Rod Mann are part of the Bush for Birds project.