NLP funding secured to continue Managing Bushland for Wildlife Program

Nature Conservation has recently secured National Landcare Program Small Environment Grant funding to continue its Managing Bushland for Wildlife Program on high conservation value properties in the region and to develop best practice landowner resources for its website.

Over the past year Nature Conservation staff have worked with landowners on a number of high conservation value properties in the Cowaramup area. A number of properties involved have Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction (DBCA) Conservation Covenants and are registered as Land for Wildlife (supported by DBCA in conjunction with the South West Catchments Council) properties with landowners keen to protect wildlife values in the area.

The focus of the work has been to establish a tenure blind, landscape scale approach to feral animal control with the aim of bringing back native wildlife to high conservation value bushland areas in the Margaret River region. During the year two rounds of fox baiting, wildlife monitoring and landowner get togethers were achieved with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attraction also baiting in adjacent National Park blocks to complement the feral animal control program on private property. Baiting across the area was achieved through a 50% cost sharing arrangement with landowners and with in kind assistance from DBCA Blackwood District staff. In parallel wildlife monitoring using 20 motion cameras was implemented across a wider area of 860 ha to better understand populations of both feral and native wildlife. Monitoring revealed that there is a healthy fox and feral cat populations across the area and a wide range of native wildlife.

This work is now set to continue with Nature Conservation recently securing a 12 month National Landcare Program Small Environment Grant. Two further rounds of fox baiting will be undertaken and staff will aim to engage a greater number of landowners across the full 860 ha of high conservation bushland. Work will be undertaken to further develop the wildlife monitoring program to provide data on conservation outcomes and through further landowner get togethers landowner will also be assisted with other conservation issues on their properties.

The grant will also fund the development of best practice bushland management web resources to engage the wider community in this valuable work. A targeted publicity campaign including workshops, media releases and social media promotion will also assist the community to understand and implement best practice conservation action.