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Funding for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer

Thursday 8 June, 2017

Ensuring suitable habitat for the critically endangered Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus) is the focus of a $300,000 funding boost from the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative.

Bruce Wehner, Parks Victoria Regional Area of Work Coordinator,said Plains-wanderers are a grassland bird species with very specific habitat requirements, which must be managed using strict grazing regimes.

“Parks Victoria will work with Trust for Nature, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and adjoining private landholders to undertake a range of work in the Northern Plains Grasslands, including Terrick Terrick National Park,” Mr Wehner said.

“On-ground works will include strategic weed control, rabbit control, close monitoring of the birds’ grassland habitat, active management of grazing to maintain habitat, fauna monitoring and fencing.

“These works will ensure a suitable habitat for the Plains-wanderer, a small, quail-like bird that was once widespread in south-eastern Australia but is now largely restricted to patches of suitable open grassland in the NSW Riverina and Victoria’s northern plains.

“In addition, the works will also benefit other grassland and woodland species including the Hooded Scaly-foot, Curl Snake, Fat-tailed Dunnart, Woodland Blind Snake, Striped Legless Lizard, Sun Moths and Grassland Froghopper.

“We also expect to see benefits for flora species including Swainson Peas, Spiny Rice-flower, Chariot Wheels, Turnip Copperburr, Hooked Needlewood, Cypress Pine and Buloke.”

Jill Fleming, DELWP Program Manager Biodiversity, said the funding is from the Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative, which aims to address major risks to threatened species and ecosystems in priority areas.

“This project is a great collaboration between many partners who have worked more than ten years to create suitable habitat for Plains-wanderers across public and private land,” Ms Fleming said

“The Plains-wanderer has been recognised as an Icon Species for Victoria so we have an extra responsibility to ensure that we are protecting the species and improving the habitat for future generations.”

Twenty-six large scale, multi-partner regional partnership projects totalling $7.7 million have been funded through the Regional Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative to address major risks to threatened species and ecosystems across the state. These projects delivered through regional partnerships between agencies, organisations, community, landholders and traditional owners. The list of projects is available at The Plains-wanderer is listed as 'Threatened' under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act and is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.

Media enquiries

Josh Maher

Parks Victoria media centre

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