Greater protection for Wheatbelt bushland

Thursday, 3rd September 2009

Native bushland in the WA Wheatbelt will be better protected thanks to a $660,000 project funded by the Commonwealth Government. The funding will be managed by the Wheatbelt NRM and its partners to strengthen the National Reserve System in the Avon Wheatbelt Bioregion. The National Reserve System is a network of protected areas that conserves our natural landscapes for future generations. The Wheatbelt NRM’s program manager of biodiversity Rebecca Palumbo said project officers will be employed to work with landholders to help conserve their bushland. “This will include fencing off areas of good quality remnant vegetation and using conservation agreements to protect them,” Rebecca Palumbo said. “The funding will cover privately owned land that without protection would continue to lose rare and unique species. “There are still many good stands of York Gum, Salmon Gum and Morrell woodlands that need protection because of their high biodiversity value.” The work will be carried out by the Wheatbelt NRM, WWF Australia, the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council and the Blackwood Basin group. The Avon Wheatbelt Bioregion stretches from Morawa south to Katanning and east to Corrigin and covers an area of more than nine million hectares. Less than five per cent of this region is permanently protected through the National Reserve System. Work will begin in October 2009, with the possibility of the project being extended for up to four years. The funding comes from the Commonwealth Government’s Caring for our Country program. Media contact: Rebecca Palumbo, Program Manager Biodiversity, Wheatbelt NRM, 08 9690 2250 or 0428 834 926.