Victoria Riverina, Vic (Barababaraba Country)
In the heart of the Victorian Riverina, one of the most productive areas of agriculture in Australia and only 250 kilometres north of Melbourne, lies Budgerum, a farming district of flat, grassy plains alongside the Avoca River. Grassland communities are some of the most highly threatened ecosystems on the planet, with grassland reserves being reduced to small, fragmented patches across the landscape as land has been converted to agriculture. For this reason, protection of the remaining native grasslands across the Victorian Riverina is critical to the long-term survival of species that call this community their home. Examples of species dependent on these grassy ecosystems include the critically endangered Plains Wanderer and the nationally endangered Turnip Copperburr.
Budgerum Grasslands is a 90-hectare grassland and grassy woodland sanctuary of very high biodiversity, home to many threatened plants, including Chariot Wheels (Maireana cheelii), Bristly Love-grass (Eragrostis setifolia), Long Eryngium (Eryngium paludosum), the endangered Veined Peppercress (Lepidium phlebopetalum), Umbrella Wattle (Acacia oswaldii) and the rare Bush Minuria (Minuria cunninghamii).
Legal protection via a conservation covenant with Trust for Nature is only the first step in providing safety to the grasslands and the species that rely on them, with multiple threats needing to be addressed through careful and diligent land management. A conservation focus for this project is the recovery and security of the beautiful Carpet Python (Morelia spilota metcalfei).
The Brown Treecreeper is a woodland specialist and susceptible to population decline as woodlands are degraded. They feed on insects found on tree trunks and branches, starting at the base of a tree and spiralling up.
Also known as the Murray Darling Carpet Python, this subspecies of Carpet Python can grow to 2.7 metres long and spends much of its time in trees within suitable woodland communities.
One of Australia's rarest birds, the Plains-wanderer is largely restricted to open grassland habitat of the NSW and Victorian Riverina. Fox control and careful grazing management has seen recent population increases.
Located in Meningie in South Australia, this 200 hectare landscape is a project delivered in partnership with the Ngarrindjeri people, the Traditional Custodians of the Coorong. It sees native plants supplied by the local nursery at Raukkan, a self-governed Aboriginal community 30 km northwest of the site and many Raukkan community members employed for onsite work and delivering activities such as vegetation monitoring and mapping and fencing with a focus on ensuring these communities can continue to preserve and protect this culturally important pocket of land.