Victorians are passionate about protecting our biodiversity. Some of the actions we’re taking include:
- Investing more than $36 million in on ground actions under Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 to manage and reduce threats and restore habitat for biodiversity across Victoria
- creating the tools we need to target the biggest threats to benefit as many native plants and animals as possible
- amending the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 to improve how we manage the health of our ecosystems
- investing $900,000 in scientific research to help protect our most vulnerable species through biodiversity knowledge grants
- investing $2 million to intensively manage 10 iconic Victorian species, and $3 million through our Faunal Emblem Program for the Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeaters Possum.
Here are Victoria’s 10 icon species of fauna that are benefitting from $200,000 each over four years under the Icon Species component of our Biodiversity On-ground Action investment program. We’re working with several partners, organisations and committed volunteers to protect them.
Baw Baw Frog
The Baw Baw Frog lives in the Mt Baw Baw area in the Central Highlands. With around 1,000 left in the wild, it could become extinct over the next decade, due to climate change and disease. The Baw Baw Frog is being rescued from the wild and housed. They’re being bred in captivity, while further research is carried out.
Very few of these small wallabies remain in the wild. Hunted for their fur in the 19th and 20th centuries now reduced genetic diversity, habitat loss and introduced predators threaten the Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby’s survival. Current conservation efforts are focussed on predator control in East Gippsland, captive breeding and improving the genetics of insurance and wild populations.
Eastern Barred Bandicoot
Cats, foxes and loss of grassland habitat have made the mainland subspecies of this nocturnal marsupial extinct in the wild. All Eastern Barred Bandicoots (EBBs) are descended from a small group removed from the wild in the 1980s. New populations currently live at three, fenced, predator-free sites, accommodating up to 1,000 animals in total when times are good. There is also a breeding program involving Victorian and Tasmanian EBB’s to improve the genetic diversity of the captive population.
As one of Victoria’s faunal emblems, the Helmeted Honeyeater benefits from Victoria’s $3 million Faunal Emblems Program. Loss of habitat, competition from other birds, feral animals and declining genetic diversity are the biggest threats to the bird’s survival. Supplementary feeding, close monitoring and releasing captive-bred birds into the wild are among the actions being taken to save this important Victorian species.
The Hooded Plover shares its ocean beach habitat with people. But coastal development, weeds, introduced predators and human disturbance of breeding pairs are threatening the species. Dogs and horses in some parts of the state also present a threat. We’re recruiting and training volunteers to support the bird’s survival. The National Landcare Program is also funding action to protect the Hooded Plover.
Lowland Leadbeaters Possum
Another of our faunal emblems, Leadbeater’s Possum was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered near Marysville in 1961. Along with the Helmeted Honeyeater, the possum is benefitting from Victoria’s $3 million Faunal Emblems Program. By protecting and restoring habitat at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, both species are being supported as they both occupy the same habitat.
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Mountain Pygmy-Possum hibernates over winter in the alpine regions of Victoria and NSW.
We’re controlling its predators and protecting its habitat through weed control and revegetation. The Bogong moth, which is a food source for the possum, is in dwindling supply and there is a multi-agency program being implemented to assess and manage this risk.
One of only three migratory parrots in the world, the wild population of the Orange-Bellied Parrot is very small. There is a National Recovery Team involving Victoria, South Australia and the Federal Government, universities and wildlife organisations. Efforts to protect the bird include monitoring, a captive breed and release program, managing predators, providing food and nest boxes.
Habitat loss is the biggest threat to this quail-like bird, which needs a specific mix of herbs, forbs and grasses. A small population, feral predators, flooding and pesticides also threaten its survival. Government and non-government organisations, along with private landholders are working together to provide the right habitat for the bird. A captive breeding program is also underway.
This mid-sized honeyeater is very mobile, following flowering eucalypts through box iron bark forests and woodland areas. Habitat loss since the mid-20th century now threatens its survival. A captive breeding program has seen almost 200 birds released into the wild.
Page last updated: 27/07/20