Farmland Turns To Habitat To Protect State Emblems

21 May 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is expanding and protecting the habitat of Victoria’s critically endangered faunal emblems.

Forty-one hectares of private land adjoining the Liwik Barring Landscape Conservation Area in Yellingbo has been purchased by the Labor Government – extending critical habitat for the Helmeted Honeyeater and Lowland Leadbeater’s Possum.

The former farmland was purchased by the Government from a local landholder whose family has lived in the Yellingbo area since 1933, in a deal brokered by Trust for Nature.

With Helmeted Honeyeater sightings already a regular occurrence at the edge of the property, the creation of habitat links will enable the species to move easily through the landscape.

After nearing extinction in the late 1980s, the wild population of Helmeted Honeyeaters has increased to more than 250 thanks to efforts by the Victorian Government, landholders, private donation and community groups.

The acquisition also extends habitat for Lowland Leadbeater’s Possums, currently only found within the Liwik Barring Landscape Conservation Area made possible by the $10 million of Government funding.

The new habitat is funded through the Government’s Sustainability Fund, supporting projects, programs, services and technologies that will benefit Victoria environmentally, socially and economically.

The Government is also investing $77 million in the Bush Bank program, which will restore natural environments across Victoria through millions of native plants and trees being planted including $30.9 million towards restoring native habitat on private land across Victoria.

The Government has dedicated over $560 million in safeguarding Victoria’s previous biodiversity, more than any other Victorian Government.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“We’re regenerating our precious biodiversity, restoring native habitats and creating regional jobs while capturing carbon to help Victoria halve emissions by 2030.”

“We’re working with regional communities, private landholders and Traditional Owners to create new habitats and bring our state emblems back from the point of extinction.”

Quote attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino

“This extension of habitat will allow our state emblems to thrive in the wild once again.”

Quote attributable to Trust for Nature Area Manager Ben Cullen

“After working with this landholder, the protection of this property for conservation will serve as a bridge between other areas of habitat in the region.”

Reviewed 21 May 2022

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