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Protecting Hooded Robins and Squirrel Gliders

Increasing habitat connectivity and removing lethal barbed wire on private land

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Photo: Male Hooded Robin

This threatened species project saw Trust for Nature working with private landholders surrounding the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park. 

The project focussed on increasing connectivity of remnant habitat favoured by the Hooded Robin and the removal of barbed wire, a significant hazard for Squirrel Gliders. It was also an opportunity to build positive relationships with landholders to promote ongoing management of suitable habitat on private land for threatened species. 

Overall, the project led to an improvement in habitat for the Squirrel Glider and Hooded Robin through hazard removal and reintroduction of favoured plant species. 

“​Twenty landowners were supported to improve habitat across an area of 1,400 hectares, with a significant contribution from volunteers.”

More than 20 kilometres of barbed wire was removed and replaced with plain wire on 12 properties. Eighty Squirrel Glider nest boxes were installed on 10 properties in partnership with Indigo Shire Council. Members of the community were engaged as volunteers during the project, contributing 1,064 hours of time. They were also invited to a field day held in Chiltern, focussed on learning about threatened species. This was attended by over 60 people.

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Trust for Nature staff supported 20 landowners to improve habitat for Hooded Robins and Squirrel Gliders across 1,400 hectares near Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park. For each landowner, a management plan was developed. One of the key tasks was removal of barbed wire to prevent entanglement of Squirrel Gliders. Other tasks included installation of nest boxes, weed control and reintroducing favoured plant species. Emphasis was placed on retaining habitat such as dead and/or hollow bearing trees and logs. More than 1,000 hours of volunteer time were contributed and more than 60 people attended a community event on threatened species, held in Chiltern. Attendees heard about the ecology of Squirrel Gliders as well as the design, installation and monitoring of nest boxes. They also learnt about identification, monitoring and how to report sightings of Hooded Robins. Information was provided about ways to become active in the local environment by joining groups such as Birdlife Australia, Field Naturalists, Friends of Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, and Landcare. Trust for Nature staff explained the importance of permanent protection of key habitat on private land through conservation covenants, and ongoing management of these sites for threatened species.

Snapshot

Trust for Nature priority species covered:
Squirrel Glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) Status: Endangered (Victoria), listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act
Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata) Status: Threatened (Victoria)

Geographic area of project:
Private land surrounding Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park

Region:
North East

Trust for Nature project contact:
Will Ford

Project partners:

  • Indigo Shire Council
  • Green Army
  • BlazeAid
  • Friends of Chiltern and local landowners
  • DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning)

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