Efforts to protect remaining Lakes Entrance rainforest receive much needed financial boost from Landcare Australia Bushfire fund
With over 70 per cent of East Gippsland warm temperate rainforest impacted by bushfires earlier this year, the fight to protect what remains is more important than ever.
And East Gippsland Conservation Management Network wants to ensure these ‘fire refuges’ are able to support threatened species while the broader landscape recovers from the recent fires.
Recently securing funding from Landcare Australia’s $300,000 Bushfire Recovery Grants, local conservationists will focus on three rainforest sites in the Lakes Entrance district, implementing activities including supplementary planting, species monitoring and weed control.
“East Gippsland contains around 2/3 of all Victoria’s rainforest and rainforest makes a disproportionate contribution to biodiversity conservation, relative to the land area it covers,” explained Tom Crook of East Gippsland Conservation Management Network.
“They contain around 14 per cent of all Victoria’s threatened species yet making up only 1.4 per cent of its land area. And with over 70 per cent of warm temperate rainforest in East Gippsland recently fire effected, unburnt rainforest areas are now more critical for biodiversity conservation than ever before.
Tom added: “It’s hoped through these activities, there will be improved ecological condition of rainforest sites and their capacity to act as threatened species habitat/refuges in an otherwise fire effected landscape.
“And with help from this funding from Landcare Australia, greater levels of community understanding of rainforest conservation values and opportunities to participate in local, practical actions to improve a range of environmental values post fire.”
Made possible due to the extraordinary volume of donations from generous organisations and private donors, the Landcare Australia Bushfire Recovery Grants will support 23 wide-ranging regeneration projects focusing on activities including impacted rainforest revegetation, nest boxes for decimated native species and feeding programs for endangered wildlife.
Key issues for all the grant recipients include restoring essential wildlife habitat, management of invasive weeds, erosion control and protection of our waterways and aquatic habitat.
The funding came from generous donations during the bushfires from across the country and around the world, including Landcare Australia partners Brambles CHEP, Bushman’s Tanks, Bloom Aid and Hawkes Brewing.
*Tom Crook is