Australian Government

Protecting and Connecting EPBC Species in the Yarra Ranges

The Australian Government has allocated a total of $1.062 million to Yarra4Life over five years (2013-2018) for the ‘Protecting and Connecting EPBC Species in the Yarra Ranges’ project. The project has a specific focus on providing connections and protection for two of Victoria’s faunal emblems, the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and the endangered Leadbeater’s Possum in the Yarra Ranges. Outcomes to be delivered include a mix of planning, on-ground works, and landholder engagement and training activities.

Planned targets for 2013-2018 include:
• 65 hectares of priority weed control
• 145 hectares of pest animal control
• 20 hectares of strategic revegetation
• 30 landholders to have improved land management practices

The project will also run numerous workshops, field days and communication activities.

The initial planning phase of the project has centred on the development of an ‘Ecological Character Description’ (or ECD) for the region. An ECD is a conceptual planning tool that attempts to synthesise both scientific and practical sources of knowledge to capture the ‘essence’ or ‘character’ of a particular ecosystem (or species) to help guide its restoration. The Yarra4Life ECD has been developed through a series of community workshops along with a scientific literature review and technical input by DEPI (now DELWP) and their scientific colleagues at the Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI). An associated ‘Action Plan’ has been created to guide the implementation of the ECD’s recommendations. Together, they provide a framework for directing and prioritising on-ground works as we move into the implementation phase of the project.

You can download the documents below (please note: maps are included in the main documents but are also provided separately in higher resolution PDF form):

Ecological Character Description
Appendix 1: Study Area
Appendix 3: Helmeted Honeyeater ideal species distribution model
Appendix 4: Helmeted Honeyeater modelled distribution of suitable habitat on public and private land
Appendix 6: Top 2.5% of suitable restoration works area
Appendix 7: Top 10% of suitable restoration works area

Action Plan
Appendix 1: Overview map
Appendix 2: Healesville targeted restoration works area
Appendix 3: Warramate targeted restoration works area
Appendix 4: Woori Yallock targeted restoration works area
Appendix 5: Mount Toolebewong targeted restoration works area
Appendix 6: Yellingbo targeted restoration works area
Appendix 7: Yellingbo South targeted restoration works area

A Social Research project involving stakeholders and communities has also been undertaken to identify the optimum engagement opportunities and methods to ensure the project is effective in achieving its stated outcomes.

You can download the Social Research Report below:
Social Research Report
Social Research Report – Appendices

Past Projects

Habitat Protection and Conservation Project
During 2010/11 to 2012/13, the Australian Government provided $418,000 via the ‘Caring for our Country’ program to fund the Habitat Protection and Conservation project in the Yarra Valley. The project engaged with landowners around the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve and worked with them to protect, improve and increase the amount of habitat for wildlife on their properties.

The Habitat Protection and Conservation Project achievements were:
• 296 hectares of habitat protection on 26 properties with 14 km fencing installed
• 241 hectares of weed control on 30 properties
• 29 hectares of revegetation on 21 properties
• 60 hectares of pest animal (fox and deer) control on 5 properties

Yarra River Catchment Woodland Project
During 2009/10, the Australian Government provided $449,500 from the ‘Caring for our Country’ program to fund the Yarra River Catchment Woodland Project. The goal for this project was “Increasing landscape scale conservation – to increase by 6,700 farmers in priority regions adopting activities that contribute to the ongoing conservation and protection of biodiversity”.

The Yarra River Catchment Woodland Project achievements were:
• 18 farmers adopted practices to improve and protect woodlands on an ongoing basis
• 128 hectares of remnant woodland was protected under 4 year land management agreements
• 92 hectares of remnant woodland were improved
• 14 hectares of revegetation increased the area of woodland habitat.