Funding boost to combat invasive pests and weeds

Published on 05 September 2018

Eltham copper butterfly

Nillumbik Shire Council will roll out an extensive program aimed at protecting natural values by reducing the impact of weeds, fox and deer on private and public land in the south-eastern part of the Shire.

The $450,000 Sugarloaf Link project will centre around Bend of Islands, Watsons Creek and Christmas Hills. This area forms a vital link in the major habitat corridor connecting Kinglake National Park to the Yarra River.

Mayor Peter Clarke said the program will enable Council to focus on protecting the natural landscape from the increasing threat of introduced pests and weeds.

“This project will ramp up protecting natural habitats, native plants, local agriculture, creeks and rivers from the degradation caused by deer and weeds” Cr Clarke said.

“Small native animals should also flourish by reducing fox predation. Species such as Bush-tailed Phascogales, Slender Dunnarts and threatened orchids should all benefit from these works.”

Project partners include: Nillumbik Shire Council, Christmas Hills Landcare Group, Bend of Islands Conservation Association, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and the Wurundjeri Council’s Narrap team.

Cr Grant Brooker said  it is great to see the community, in partnership with government, providing such strong leadership for our environment.

“Everyone is really excited to see this beautiful area recover once we have reduced the threat of weeds, foxes and deer,” Cr Brooker said.

This project is Nillumbik’s first cross tenure program to control and reduce the impact of Deer in the local area. Deer are a serious pest in Nillumbik, with numbers on the rise. Impacts of deer include:

  • Destroying native vegetation and reducing biodiversity
  • Reducing productivity of farms, causing financial hardship for local agricultural producers
  • Posing a serious hazard on roads, risking the lives of road users

The project partners will also use learnings to develop future deer control programs across the Shire.

This project is part of the $86.3 million investment to implement the State Government’s biodiversity strategy Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037