East Gippsland landholders secure future for endangered island orchid
Endangered Raymond Island Spider-orchids, found only on Raymond Island, Gunaikurnai Country, in East Gippsland, have a more secure future thanks to landholders who have protected their main home.
The orchid’s primary colony has been protected under two conservation covenants through Trust for Nature, the first on Raymond Island, protecting 25 hectares forever.
“As long-term East Gippsland residents, we’re excited to have placed Trust for Nature conservation covenants on our land on Raymond Island,” said landholders Jane and David.
“We purchased this land with the intention of applying for a covenant. It’s a very special area of natural bushland on the island, with large tree species providing a canopy over smaller forest species with some rare orchids at ground level,” they said.
“We are pleased to ensure that these 25 hectares are preserved permanently as habitat for an extensive range of flora and fauna, and for Homo sapiens to enjoy and nurture.”
A conservation covenant is a voluntary, permanent, legally-binding agreement placed on a property’s title that ensures native vegetation is protected forever. The covenant limits activites that might damage the environment and requires the landholders to maintain and improve its health.
“The great thing about these two properties is that they are next to each and link to an area of core habitat within the Raymond Island Gippsland Lakes Reserve. This creates a continuous band of remnant vegetation that runs from the centre of the island to the southern shore,” said Trust for Nature Senior Conservation Officer Paul Harvey.
“The covenants have an overstorey of mature Southern Mahogany trees, which is very unusual on Raymond Island, and they have have never been cleared or logged. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos and Koalas also live on the properties,” Paul said.
The Raymond Island covenants have been established as part of the Lungs of the Lakes project, developed jointly with East Gippsland Landcare Network and Trust for Nature.
The project is working with rural communities to protect, improve and connect vegetation near wateways on and around the Gippsland Plains, helping animals and plants and water quality entering the Gippsland Lakes.
The Lungs of the Lakes project is made possible by the generous support of The Ian Potter Foundation and The Ross Trust.
Trust for Nature is one of Australia’s oldest conservation organisations, established to protect habitat on private land. It is a non-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of supporters to help protect Victoria’s biodiversity.
James Whitmore, Communications Coordinator Manager, Trust for Nature, 0450 653 811, firstname.lastname@example.org