The Biodiversity Refugia and Linkages project aims to support local and regional scale corridors enhancement and works at a landscape scale to protect biodiversity and restore ecosystem function and resilience. The project also focuses on the protection of flora and fauna species (particularly threatened species) and Threatened Ecological Communities (TEC) through the implementation of recovery plans, abatement plans and restoration of priority habitat patches as well as the enhancement of corridors and landscape connectivity.
The project is implementing management actions at priority sites (including Land for Wildlife, covenant properties, Meelup Regional Park) through on-ground works including weed control, fencing, revegetation and direct seedling trials.
The project is also addressing conservation actions for the Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis), a nationally-listed threatened species. A decline of the Southern Forest population has prompted, in part, the recent reclassification of the possum from ‘Vulnerable’ to ‘Endangered’ in WA.
The project has worked on six strategic properties across the south west.
Key achievements include:
- A successful revegetation trial has been undertaken on a Land for Wildlife property in Chapman Hill using different techniques for site preparation for direct seeding and planting seedlings.
Other activities include weed control and rabbit control. Early results are showing that quadrats treated with mulch, compost and Bactivate on sandy soils are giving the highest amount of germinates.
On average, the direct seeding trials has resulted in 127,100 seedlings per hectare. The learnings from this trial will assist in planning of other revegetation sites into the future.
- In partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, 18 Western Ringtail Possums have been captured, collared and translocated from the Southern Forest population around Manjimup, into the predator-free Perup Sanctuary, to secure their population. The success of the translocation will continue to be monitored via radio telemetry and will enable the agency to determine survival rates and the approximate location of the animals in the sanctuary.
“The bonus (of regenerating the land) is that is it fascinating to watch and be part of. The birds and reptiles are my special joy but everyone can find something in bushland to enrich their life”
Mrs Hopkins, Land for Wildlife property owner
The planned project activities for 2016-17 include the consolidation of works completed to date, through follow-up weed control and infill planting.
Additional on-ground work is to be carried out on priority Land for Wildlife properties, to enhance threatened species habitat and improve landscape connectivity.
The translocated Western Ringtail Possums will be closely monitored, gathering data to determine the success of the conservation action and to assist in planning future projects.
Our sensor cameras have shown that we have been getting some interesting visitors to one of the Land for Wildlife properties involved in this project, from curious kangaroos, rabbits and rats to the shy quenda and inquisitive small birds.
- Private landholders (four Land for Wildlife registered property owners)
- Department of Parks and Wildlife
4 km fencing installed
11.4 km fencing installed
6 ha site preparation completed
15.6 ha site preparation completed
Jodie Deeley, Derani Sullivan