Individuals and organisations at the centre of protecting our native species are now able to receive additional support from the Federal Government to help with the recovery of wildlife and habitats following the devastating summer of bushfires.
Even as Australia deals with the challenges of the coronavirus, the importance of addressing the loss of countless iconic wildlife and habitats through fires remains an important focus.
Despite COVID-19 precautions restricting some field work significant work is taking place under the Morrison Government’s $50 million Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Package.
This includes feral animal, pest and weed control, animal relocation and zoo programs, habitat stabilisation, using camera traps to detect native species and predators alike, and detailed recovery planning through the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel.
It is important that we continue to fund activities to support the survival of fire‑affected animals, plants, ecological communities and other natural assets.
Today I am announcing up to $12 million for a new round of grants, aimed at preventing extinction and supporting the continued efforts of those on the frontline of bushfire recovery. The funding, part of the Australian Government’s initial commitment of $50 million for a bushfire recovery package may be used for on-ground bushfire recovery activities, for example
- protecting unburnt areas within or adjacent to recently burnt ground that provide refugia
- feral predator and herbivore control to reduce the pressure on native species
- emergency salvage of plant and animal species for ex-situ conservation or wild-to-wild translocation
- rapid on-ground assessment for species and communities of concern
- supplementary shelter and food for animals, where it is still needed.
Clearly, COVID 19 restrictions mean that some activities will not be able to start immediately but the process of identifying submissions and planning their role in the recovery process is an important one.
To ensure organisations are given enough time to apply, grants will be staged over two tranches, with the first opening on 1 April and closing on 22 April. Tranche 2 is anticipated to open on 23 April and close on 28 May.