“The new funding enables us to undertake a range of project elements aimed at reconnecting the land in this important corridor. This will be done through strategic revegetation of priority linkages, habitat protection, and pest and weed control. On-ground works will benefit landholders and a host of native species including birds, mammals and reptiles,” David Rush, NPA’s Bush Connect Officer says.
“The funding builds on previous activities and investment in this landscape which includes working with Berry Landcare members and landholders to control weeds and increase landholder awareness through motion camera surveys of native animals living on their land that are faced with the impacts of climate change,” added Mr Rush.
This exciting long term project will be administered by the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) in close partnership with Berry Landcare. Other project partners include Conservation Volunteers Australia, Shoalhaven City Council, Nature Conservation Trust, South East Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Rural Fire Service. The University of Wollongong will also be involved through studies into the changes to native plants and animals during the project.
The project aims to connect and protect remnant vegetation in the Berry corridor and to widen sections of the corridor through further weed and feral animal control, seed collection and planting of native trees.
The grant will assist with holding a number of community engagement and educational events including field days, training and workshops to further extend the benefits of the new project.
The funding, provided through the NSW Environmental Trust, is part of $8 million in grants provided by the Environmental Trust to restore habitat connectivity along the Great Eastern Ranges corridor.
The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative (GER), a collective of non-government, government and community groups, has been working with the Trust in the corridor since 2007.
Chair of the GER Lead Partner group and CEO of NPA NSW, Kevin Evans, said the funding is a timely investment allowing six GER Regional Partnerships to continue work strengthening habitat linkages in key areas.
“It’s a substantial investment by the NSW Government which recognises the role of public-private partnerships in conservation and the value of multiple organisations working together,” he said.
“GER projects in particular are a multi-partner, strategic response to issues such as habitat loss and climate warming and are designed to improve the movement of fauna across the landscape, important for the long-term survival of some species,” Mr Evans said.
Commencing in 2016, GER Bush Connect activities will range from weed control to nest box installation and take place on both public and private land over a ten year period.
“These timely grants enable us to continue to work collaboratively with local landholders, community groups and government to restore habitat for threatened species and endangered ecological communities in our unique region,” says David.
David Rush, ph. 0418 977 402
Kevin Evans, ph. 0457 797 977