The Australian Government is delivering on its commitment to fund local wildlife and habitat recovery programs across areas affected by the devastating Black Summer bushfires, with $12 million now awarded to 37 projects over two grants rounds.
Projects span from the south east of Queensland, down to Kangaroo Island and cover a range of interventions from feral pest control and the removal of noxious weeds to translocations and the protection of our native threatened plants and animals.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the Government was getting on with the job of delivering its $200 million bushfire recovery package with the second round of grants focusing on the recovery of priority plants and invertebrates.
“I have visited regions affected by the fires and have seen firsthand the catastrophic damage caused to not just the habitat and wildlife but to the entire ecology of the area,” Minister Ley said.
“Threatened species as diverse as the Green Carpenter Bee, Glenelg Freshwater Mussel and 14 orchid species will benefit from on-ground action to recover their habitat and surveys to map the impact of the fires on their populations.
“This round of projects will also benefit over 75 of the priority plant species and almost 100 of the priority invertebrate species identified by the Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel for urgent management intervention.”
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said that with 33 million hectares of land burnt, the impact of last summer’s bushfires on Australia’s native wildlife and their habitats was immense.
“These projects are being funded through an initial $50 million investment in wildlife and habitat bushfire recovery. They are contributing to the critical action needed to help our precious species recover from the devastating impacts of the Black Summer bushfires,” said Minister Littleproud.
“An additional $150 million has been committed to support sustained efforts required for the long-term recovery of our native animals and plants. This work will also contribute towards the long-term recovery of eco-tourism which is a vital industry in many affected regions.”
“Through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency, the Australian Government is investing more than $2 billion in the recovery effort to help communities, businesses and the environment recover from the devastation caused last summer,” Minister Littleproud said.
Projects range from community-led on the ground action through to university research and include the novel use of technology such as eDNA analysis, seed collection for some of our most threatened plant species and community involvement through workshops, events and citizen science.