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Nine covenants covering 342 ha have been affected by bushfires this season.

Nine covenants covering 342 ha have been affected by bushfires this season. While the impact is not fully known, the north east team is supporting landholders during this difficult time.

On the edge of the Strathbogie Ranges near Avenel, Deb and Kevin Whithear have made a substantial contribution towards protecting native habitat by taking steps to put a conservation covenant over 140 ha of their property. 

The proposed covenant contains steep slopes with areas of granite boulders leading towards an open plateau. Within the covenant there is also an area of White Box—Yellow Box—Blakely’s Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Derived Native Grassland, a community listed as critically endangered under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The new covenant will also protect threatened species such as Tree Goanna and Hickory Wattle.  

This site was initially identified through a strategic landscape prioritisation project where contact was made with landholders who were thought to have ecologically significant land. The Whithears bought the property in 1995 as a degraded sheep farm and are busy restoring some of what was once there. Having destocked the land, they have been delighted to see native plant species return. 

Deb said they often thought about officially protecting the property but never got around to it, until they were approached by Trust for Nature. She said, “We received a letter from Trust for Nature seeking properties to potentially place under a conservation covenant. We thought ‘here’s the motivation we need!’ ” 

This project was funded with support of the Victorian Government.

For information about projects in the north east region contact our Conservation Officer Shae Brennan on (03) 8631 5888 or shaeb@tfn.org.au.

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Tips for protecting steep dry landscapes:

• monitor and control weeds and feral animals regularly

• support natural regeneration 

• revegetate areas requiring extra assistance with indigenous species.

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Help us to support covenantors affected by bushfires.

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