More landholders on Melbourne’s fringes are legally protecting their properties to save habitat for threatened species. Trust for Nature has partnered with more than 1,450 landholders across Victoria to put
covenants on properties, and 48 of these are in the Yarra Ranges—an area that has some of the last remaining habitat for Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater’s Possum.
Living in the Ranges is a lifestyle choice for many; however landholders are also playing a critical role in saving animals from extinction. As part of Trust for Nature’s 2019 Spring into Nature program, locals had the chance to visit two properties in the area which had conservation covenants placed on title 12 months ago.
The properties showcase what can be achieved when land is given the chance to regenerate. Previously grazed areas now have rich understorey with many native orchids. Residents Gaye Gadsden and David Carr put a convenant on two-thirds of their property in 2018. Gaye said, “I really love wildlife and we’ve just got tens of thousands of creatures that we share this property with and I don’t want to see their home compromised. We’re only caretakers here for at best a couple of decades and beyond that I want to make sure all of those other creatures that we share this place with, home remains.”
A number of covenants are in negotiation and we hope to register many of these over the next six months. We are also working with landholders further east in the Cardinia Shire Council between Western Port and the Yarra Ranges whose properties are also providing critical habitat for Helmeted Honeyeaters and Leadbeater’s Possum. This work is supported by the Victorian Government.
Meanwhile support for existing covenanted properties continues in collaboration with Zoos Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority. The Friends of Helmeted Honeyeater and Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum are two amazing volunteer groups working in the area.
For more information about projects in the Port Phillip and Westernport region, contact our Conservation Officer Rachel Douglas on (03) 8631 5888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.