The Federal Government is strengthening its commitment to threatened species with $743,000 funding for 11 new projects to protect plants and animals at risk of extinction.
Minister Hunt made the announcement last night after releasing an Eastern Bettong – a species that was driven to extinction on the mainland last century.
The Eastern Bettong was released back into the open forests and grasslands of the ACT’s Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary to add to a critical insurance population for the species.
“This is just one example of how our threatened species can benefit from targeted action. The Eastern Bettong was once extinct on the mainland – now it’s back,” Minister Hunt said.
The species and ecosystems that will benefit from this funding announcement include:
• Southern Corroboree Frog (NSW) $150,000
• Eastern Barred Bandicoot (VIC) $120,000
• Mallee Emu-wren (VIC) $110,000
• Western Quoll (SA) $55,000
• Grey Nurse Shark (QLD) $50,000
• Mahogany Glider and Southern Cassowary (QLD) $33,000
• Spotted Handfish (TAS) $50,000
• Western Ground Parrot (WA) $40,000
• Southern Bent-wing Bat (VIC) $50,000
• Temperate saltmarsh ecological community (VIC) $35,200
• Kangaroo Island narrow leaved Mallee woodland (SA) $50,000
“Australia has a varied and fascinating mix of plants and animals. We can’t afford to lose them,” Minister Hunt said.
“That’s why these projects, targeting nationally-listed threatened species, are so worthwhile.”
“This funding will make a real difference and allow further action to protect endangered species – often in innovative ways. For example, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has a new ‘best friend’ – with guardian (maremma) sheepdogs used to protect them.”
“We’re also using DNA research on Grey Nurse Sharks and CCTV monitoring to protect Western Ground Parrots.”
This funding boost adds to the Australian Government’s existing $50 million investment in threatened species research, protection and recovery.
Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrews said this announcement is in addition to last year’s boost to threatened species protection in the Commonwealth’s own Parks Australia estate.
“Feral animals, weeds and uncontrolled fires take their toll on native plant and animal life nationwide so this time we’re helping others tackle similar challenges on different land tenures,” Mr Andrews said.
“I’m thrilled to have played a part in securing funding for these projects. This is the type of work that can make the difference between species extinction and recovery.”
The latest funding tops off six months of decisive action on threatened species, including:
• the appointment of Australia’s first Threatened Species Commissioner
• the setting of targets to end the loss of mammal species by 2020 and turn around the trajectories of 20 threatened mammals before then
• the creation of a $30 million Threatened Species Recovery Hub under the National Environmental Research Programme
• a $20 million commitment to threatened species through Green Army, National Landcare Programme, 20 Million Trees, Parks Australia and related projects, including 10 threatened species projects across Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Kakadu and Booderee National Park and the Australian National Botanic Gardens
• progress towards a humane, broad-scale toxic bait to control feral cats in conservation areas
• a partnership between government, business and community to eradicate feral cats from Christmas Island, and
• a new national summit on threatened species, planned for later this year.
For more information on the new threatened species projects, go to: www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/commissioner/projects