Amid the Covid-19 crisis resources continue to hit the ground helping wildlife and native species recovery following Australia’s bushfires.
The Federal Government’s Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel have prioritised $3 million for a range of Victorian projects from the Australian Government’s initial $50 million bushfire recovery package.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said that funding for bushfire recovery remained a priority during the wider coronavirus crisis.
“We are being guided by health experts at all times and some operating procedures will change but we are continuing to get funding where it is needed,” she said
Federally funded priority actions to support wildlife recovery in Victoria include:
- Urgent on-ground assessments of fire impacts on threatened species, including the Long-footed Potoroo, Smoky Mouse, Broad-toothed Rat and Spotted Tree Frog, to help determine immediate and longer-term risks and target broadscale herbivore and predator controls.
- On-ground assessment of burnt and adjacent unburnt areas to focus on threatened ecological communities in rainforest, alpine and coastal areas.
- Activities to help threatened aquatic species, such as Galaxias and threatened crayfish and mussels, which will focus on maintaining rescued animals in another safe location until they can be returned to the wild to prevent extinction and limit species decline.
In addition to urgent and emergency actions, the long-term resilience of species will be supported through protection of key populations, genetic management and translocations for maximising adaptive potential between populations, as well as the reseeding of important communities.
Victorian Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio welcomed the Federal contribution.
“This funding boosts the $17.5 million the Victorian Government is already investing and will help us to continue supporting the recovery of the state’s wildlife and biodiversity through these tough economic times,” she said.
The Victorian Government is partnering with Greening Australia and Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria for reseeding in key areas and with Zoos Victoria to support the captive breeding aspects of population management for long term resilience should they be needed for management in the wild.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has published a revised provisional list of 119 animal species as the highest priorities for action to support recovery from the 2019–20 bushfires.
The list is available at https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery/