The North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) will continue its work with key partners providing on-ground support for native species and ecological communities impacted by the 2019-20 summer bushfires.
The Australian Government has confirmed funding for a new phase of its Bushfire Recovery Program, initiated in response to the bushfires when more than 430,000 ha of the North East Victoria region was burnt, significantly impacting the environment, wildlife, and communities.
The Bushfire Recovery project focuses on resilience building through threat reduction and protection of unburnt areas and refugia to assist the recovery of threatened species and vegetation communities such as the Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) and the Alpine Peatlands (Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens) – both listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC 1999).
Alpine Peatlands (Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens) are listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act. Approximately 36 per cent (5,612 ha) of this ecological community occurs within the Australian Alpine region, and 40 per cent of this was burnt during the 2019-20 fires.
Seventy-one per cent of the Mountain Pygmy-possum’s range is found within the Australian Alpine region. Twenty per cent of this precinct was burnt, mostly at high or very high severity.
This project includes pest and weed control, aiming to reduce threatening pressures on native vegetation and its associated wildlife. For the Mountain Pygmy-possum specifically, actions will include targeted revegetation of key foraging species and placement of additional boulders at Mt Little Higginbotham, restoring valuable habitat for the species. This will provide an increase in resources and connectivity to support the remaining populations.
This project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery funding.
Partners in the project are: North East Catchment Management Authority, CESAR Australia, Falls Creek Alpine Resort Management Board, HVP Plantations, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, Parks Victoria, Trust for Nature and Traditional Owner groups.
For more information on related projects go to our website at:
2020/21 Bushfire Recovery Program (necma.vic.gov.au)
Mountain Pygmy-possum recovery (necma.vic.gov.au)
Cross regional Alpine Peatlands protection project (necma.vic.gov.au)