The Nature Fund has been established by the Victorian Government to support high impact projects that deliver on the goals of Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 (Biodiversity 2037), the Government’s plan to stop the decline of native plants and animals and improve the state’s natural environment.
To achieve all we’ve set out to do in Biodiversity 2037, we know we need to work together and across different sectors.
The Nature Fund encourages collaboration and partnerships between government, business, philanthropy and the community to deliver high impact projects that contribute to improving Victoria’s biodiversity.
The Victorian Government has invested $10 million to establish the Nature Fund to support projects that will make a significant difference to the outcomes for biodiversity and threatened species in Victoria.
The Nature Fund opened for applications – through an Expression of Interest process – on 26 August 2022.
Please note: The $10 million Nature Fund has been allocated.
Projects supported through the Nature Fund need to demonstrate their ability to make a high impact contribution to improving Victoria’s biodiversity and supporting the conservation of Victoria’s threatened species — for example, leading to the improvement in the conservation status of a listed Threatened Species.
The Nature Fund is also supporting projects that advance the self-determination of Victoria’s First Peoples, including through a $1.4 million Caring for Country stream. Traditional Owners also had access to the general stream.
General Stream Projects
The following projects have been funded through the Nature Fund’s General Stream.
Spring Plains Watershed Repair
This demonstration project will apply a combination of innovative ecological restoration techniques to a 138-hectare catchment that is a hot spot for the endangered Swift Parrot, to ‘re-set’ the damaged forest so that it can recover ecological health and better withstand the impacts of climate change.
Project lead: Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance Inc.
Habitat connectivity for phascogales in central Victoria
This project supports the Brush-Tailed Phascogale by creating and promoting habitat stepping-stones in a degraded landscape. The project will fence and revegetate 25mx25m blocks around large old trees, protecting potential nest sites and providing stepping-stones for habitat connectivity. An education event and volunteer nest box monitoring will engage community members.
Project lead: Connecting Country (Mount Alexander Region) Inc.
Repairing the past – Returning Semi-arid Woodlands
This project will involve landscape-scale revegetation of Semi-arid woodlands in North-west Victoria, and plantings of significant flora, largely missing from the Mallee landscape. The project will manage grazing pressure, control weeds and improve habitat for the Mildura Ogyris Butterfly. The work will be promoted through visitor experience infrastructure. The project involves planning together with First Peoples and propagation services provided at the First Peoples’ nursery.
Project lead: Friends of Mallee Conservation, auspiced by Landcare Victoria Inc.
Reversing decline of the critically endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat
This project will reverse the decline in critically endangered species in the Portland area. The focus will be on improving 375-hectares of Southern Bent-Wing Bat foraging habitat and other direct species interventions. The project will protect and improve high biodiversity remnants and the habitat of other critically endangered species.
Project lead: Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
Saving threatened plant species on the Victorian Volcanic Plain
This project seeks to improve the net condition of 350-hectares of Natural Temperate Grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plain (VVP) in Western Victoria. VVP Stewardship and roadside restoration sites occur on the VVP in Moyne, Southern Gramps, Ararat, Pyrenees and Corangamite shires. Establishment of a seed production area and re-introduction program will improve the trajectory of threatened and culturally significant species, including the Button Wrinklewort, Hoary Sunray and the Derrinallum Billy-Button and other native species, increasing population numbers and the overall quality of the sites.
Project lead: Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
Bringing back the Maccas
This project will restore habitat for the endangered Macquarie Perch (“Maccas”), a large-bodied native fish within the Murray Darling Basin. Habitat restoration will support the long-term resilience of the species by creating conditions suitable for both spawning and the survival of newly recruited fish. The project will also support selective harvesting of adult broodfish for captive breeding efforts and surveying to better understand the population of Maccas.
Project lead: North East Catchment Management Authority
Small Fish, Big Impact: Securing Four Threatened Wetland Fish in Northern Victoria
This project will reintroduce Olive Perchlet into Northwest Victoria; establish double the number of known populations of flat-headed galaxias in Northeast Victoria; undertake habitat restoration, conservation stocking, and translocations of Southern Pygmy Perch and Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon; and undertake research to improve species reintroductions.
Project lead: North Central Catchment Management Authority
Widgewah Conservation Reserve Expansion
Widgewah Conservation Reserve is a 90-hectare section of a property in Avenel, Victoria, with a predator proof fence that is preparing to welcome its first group of Southern Brush-Tail Rock-Wallaby. Widgewah is managed by Odonata and, with the land-owners, Odonata is working towards expanding the sanctuary to 421-hectares.
Project lead: Odonata Foundation
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo: Restoring semi-arid woodlands
This project will restore ecosystem function in semi-arid woodlands and address the shortage of nest hollows for Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos and other threatened fauna by creating artificial hollows, reducing hollow competition and fire threats, and supporting the establishment and development of the next generation of nest trees through revegetation and grazer control.
Project lead: Parks Victoria
Observation Point: Nature Haven for Fairy Terns
This project will support recovery of the Fairy Tern through improving and expanding suitable breeding habitat and significantly improving capacity to respond to feral cats and other threats at Observation Point.
Project lead: Phillip Island Nature Parks
Raising Rarity: Preventing the extinction of Victoria’s threatened flora
This project will use an integrated conservation framework to prevent extinction of 24 endangered Victorian plants. The framework includes (1) threat assessment and community surveys, (2) seed and essential symbiont collections, (3) genetic assessment to inform propagation, (4) developing permanent ex-situ living collections and (5) reintroductions using knowledge of suitable habitat and pollinator availability.
Project lead: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Crucial steps to save Australia’s most unique and threatened butterfly community
This project will deliver conservation actions for threatened invertebrate communities in the Goulburn Broken Catchment near Broadford. Continuing on from a four-year recovery program for the threatened Small and Large Ant-Blue Butterflies and 'Butterfly Community No. 1', the project will implement key actions including habitat restoration activities, continued research and monitoring, community engagement and continued captive breeding investigation efforts.
Project lead: Threatened Species Conservancy Inc.
Securing Spotted Tree Frogs and co-occurring native freshwater fauna
This project will create a safe-haven for the Spotted Tree Frog and other co-occurring native freshwater fauna from non-native predatory fish. It will also help establish a Spotted Tree Frog captive conservation breeding program that can support future reintroduction and population augmentation recovery activities for the species.
Project lead: Wild Research, auspiced by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
A future for Victoria’s threatened wildlife
This project will target key threatened species in Victoria where tangible, high impact conservation interventions can be enacted rapidly to drive conservation progress: the Pookila, Watson’s Tree Frog and Giant Burrowing Frog. The program involves recovery actions utilising a combination of translocations, ex situ breeding, wildlife health, community engagement and research investigations to advance knowledge.
Project lead: Zoos Victoria
Caring for Country Projects
The following projects have been funded through the Nature Fund’s Caring for Country funding stream.
Monmar (Point Nepean) White-Footed Dunnart Monitoring and Feral Predator Control
Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation will partner with Parks Victoria to carry out a White-Footed Dunnart monitoring program to assess their density/distribution, and predator control (cat trapping) for the White-Footed Dunnart and Long-nosed Bandicoot. White-Footed Dunnart are threatened by habitat loss, bushfires and feral predators. Monitoring through this project will inform current management actions and future actions to protect this species.
Project lead: Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
Enabling Right Ways on Djandak
This project will empower Djaara to deliver high impacts for Victoria’s biodiversity on Dja Dja Wurrung Country, consistent with Biodiversity 2037 and Pupangarli Marnmarnepu. Through leveraging a partnership with Bush Heritage Australia, the project will leverage additional resources to support Right Way Management of Reserves and broader Djaara self-determination.
Project lead: Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises
Traditional Land Management of Ryans Lagoon Wetlands
This project will deliver: (1) Traditional land management (engaging an Elder as Ranger to manage the 165-hectare Ryans Lagoon Wetlands, (2) Training Ground (ecological thinning, burning, cultural harvesting, pest control and cultural activities with First Nations people including young people to build skills, and (3) Cultural Workshops (four gatherings per year with knowledge holders from across Australia).
Project lead: Duduroa Dhargal Aboriginal Corporation, auspiced by Parklands Albury Wodonga Ltd.
Lower Snowy River Symplocos Protection and Reintroduction
This project will protect known locations of Symplocos thwaitesii (buff hazelwood) on the lower reaches of the Snowy River through protection measures such as deer fencing and weed removal, commence searching for seed and take cuttings from known populations, and commence propagation to relocate into fire effected areas.
Project lead: Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland Inc.
Murrk Ngubitj Yarram Yaluk Regeneration
This project will support actions to protect biodiversity as part of a broader program to create 30 hectares of environmental and public open space at Murrk Ngubitj Yarram Yaluk (meaning ‘head waters of continuous flowing river’ in Wadawurrung language), Barwon Water’s former Bellarine Basin site. Funding will support: landcare activities, including planting, weed management and pest control, where Wadawurrung will provide guidance on the most culturally sensitive approach; establishment of a 'friends of' group to undertake work onsite; construction of walking paths and boardwalks to protect native vegetation (including FFG listed orchids and remnant grassy woodland) and carparking to access the site without damaging key biodiversity areas.
Project lead: Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation
Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Nature Fund Caring for Country
Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation (WWCHAC) will apply Traditional Cultural practices to care for Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Country on their Nunganala property in Healesville. This project will provide an opportunity for WWCHAC's Narrap Ranger/s to practice and share traditional land management knowledge and restore this important part of Wurundjeri Country.
Project lead: Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation
Note: Version 1.1 (14 September 2022). Updated to confirm that proposals focused on threatened ecological communities (listed on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act Threatened List) were eligible to apply to the Nature Fund.
Page last updated: 25/11/22