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Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Saving Victoria's most threatened birds

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

Bush for Birds is funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and aims to protect, manage, and increase habitat on private land for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot.

Trust for Nature’s Regional Manager Will Ford said environmental grants for the Bush for Birds Project were once again well subscribed.

“We had 68 Expressions of Interest for this second round of funding. There’s great enthusiasm among landholders in the region to do their bit for threatened species conservation,” Will said

North East CMA Biodiversity Senior Project Officer Mark Cairns said Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots are in a perilous state.

“They are listed as critically endangered, which makes them the most threatened birds in our region. Landholders play a pivotal role in looking after threatened species habitat and we’re excited to be able to support them through this project,” said Mark.

In 2020 landholders submitted Expressions of Interest (EOI) for funding to undertake activities including fencing remnant bushland, planting trees and shrubs, thinning over-dense regeneration and tackling environmental weeds. Project officers assessed sites based on criteria including size, quality, habitat suitability and funding cost per hectare.

Site assessments were undertaken for each EOI, which were then evaluated by an expert panel and ranked for funding allocation. Twenty-eight successful landholders are protecting and managing more than 230 ha of remnant bushland and undertaking more than 120 ha of revegetation.

Markwood landholders Leonie and Peter Brien are among those grant recipients.

“We’re really grateful to be given the opportunity to be involved in a project that supports biodiversity in our region and protects habitat for the Swift Parrot, Regent Honeyeater, and all our indigenous fauna and flora,” Leonie said.

“Being involved in the Bush for Birds project has given us a new perspective and reignited our love for the property.”

Will said the Briens’ property was a perfect candidate for the project.

“Leonie and Peter have established a strong foundation of land stewardship over many years,” he said.

“Bush for Birds will support them to protect and manage a valuable patch of Grassy Woodland by removing woody weeds, planting native shrubs and managing dense Grey Box regeneration with ecological thinning.

“Getting involved in projects like Bush for Birds is a great way to learn more about the biodiversity values of your property and access support for practical conservation activities. I’m looking forward to working alongside landholders like Leonie and Peter to improve habitat for our most endangered birds.

Landholders in north east Victoria are encouraged to stay up to date with the latest grant funding opportunities by subscribing to North East CMA’s NRM Update newsletter at necma.vic.gov.au/News-Events/Newsletters

Trust for Nature is one of Australia’s oldest conservation organisations, established by the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972 to protect habitat on private land. It is a non-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of supporters to help protect Victoria’s biodiversity.

For more information contact Will Ford on willf@tfn.org.au or 0418 300 959.

Bush for Birds is supported by Trust for Nature and the North East Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Pictured: Leonie and Peter Brien on their Markwood property.




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