The Hon Jacinta Allan - Premier of Victoria - Home

Protecting Our Threatened Wildlife

02 June 2023

Some of Victoria’s most endangered wildlife will receive a welcome boost through new funding to contribute to the recovery of our threatened species.

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the ongoing protection of threatened wildlife with an additional $227,000 in Icon Species funding for three innovative projects that will increase conservation efforts for the Glenelg Freshwater Mussel, Eltham Copper Butterfly and Orange-bellied Parrot.

Since 2017, the Icon Species Program and Faunal Emblem Program have provided more than $10.6 million to support conservation projects for 22 of Victoria’s icon species, with a further $2 million committed to the Faunal Emblem program in the 2023/24 Victorian Budget.

Scientists will trial an Australian-first captive breeding program for the Glenelg freshwater mussel, a species significantly impacted by the Black Summer bushfires.

The project, which has received $100,000 in funding, will involve collecting mussels from the Crawford River in western Victoria and monitoring them in research facilities, with the aim of determining their ideal reproductive conditions and habitat.

The Wetland Revival Trust is being supported to map out Eltham copper butterfly habitat across central and western Victoria, monitor populations and look at the potential for translocations to improve the genetic health of isolated populations.

The project, which will receive $97,000 in funding, will also involve plantings of sweet bursaria in parts of the Wimmera to expand the butterfly’s habitat across dry open woodlands.

To support continued protection of the orange-bellied parrot, $30,000 in funding has been allocated to expand volunteer surveys to Gippsland.

The surveys will cover areas where three of the rare parrots were sighted in October of last year, marking the first sighting of the species in the region in 24 years.

The number of Orange-bellied Parrots in the wild have hit a 15-year high of 77 individuals returning to Melaleuca, Tasmania following the release of captive birds into mainland habitat across Victoria.

This Icon Species funding is part of Biodiversity 2037, Victoria’s largest ever long-term investment towards the environment, with the Andrews Labor Government having invested over $582 million in protecting our biodiversity since 2014.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment Ingrid Stitt

“We are proud to be protecting Victoria’s precious native wildlife and securing their future for years to come – and this investment does exactly that, supporting critical research, habitat protection and monitoring.”

“The Icon Species Program is a vital part of our investment in protecting Victoria’s unique biodiversity and will help us to ensure our environment is healthy, valued and protected for future generations.”

Reviewed 02 June 2023

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