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Byron Shire
May 19, 2021

Creating a safe haven for our wildlife

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Byron Sire landowners Margaret and Peter Hall in their wildlife Safe Haven. Photo supplied.

Images of lost and injured wildlife from last summer’s fires can’t be unseen and many have come to realise that looking after our native fauna species is increasingly becoming the responsibility of community members.

In the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires, Brunswick Valley conservationists are offering landholders in the region the opportunity to create habitat sanctuaries for impacted species including koala, possum, bats, flying fox and wallabies.

With funding from the WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants, Brunswick Valley Landcare is running the Wildlife Safe Haven program, which will support landholders with know-how in providing water, shelter and food for wildlife.

Landholders receive nest boxes, native plants and information packs

Landholders will also receive nest boxes, native plants, information packs, online resources and be able to borrow motion detection cameras to help them to identify what animals are on their property. A social media group will be created to allow them to share their discoveries and ask for help with identifications.

Alison Ratcliffe of Brunswick Valley Landcare said that like so many parts of the country, the Night Cap National Park was affected by the bushfires late last year, compounded by the ongoing effects of drought, habitat for vulnerable species has been severely impacted.

‘This exciting program will act as a guide for the multitude of landholders who were impacted by the bushfires and want to make a real difference in the fight against the effects of climate change.’

Byron Shire a biodiversity hot spot

‘Byron Shire is a biodiversity hot spot – 145 threatened flora, 183 threatened fauna including insects and 11 Threatened Ecological Communities. Many of Byron Shire’s residents live adjacent to the National Parks so private land can create important buffers for fire-affected animals.

‘And it’s with fantastic grants programs like WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery program, we can offer tangible support in safeguarding our vulnerable biodiversity.’

Landholders will be encouraged to do other simple things such as providing water, creating structural habitat features such as logs, rocks and ponds and encouraging fungi. The removal of invasive environmental weeds will be encouraged, especially those that have been seen to pose increased fire threats such as Lantana, Camphor Laurel and bamboo, and those that are prevalent after fire. 

‘The outcomes for bushfire and drought affected wildlife will ultimately be bigger buffer zones around current habitat and an increased ability to move through the landscape to seek food or shelter,’ said Ms Ratcliffe.

WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants

Launched in April 2020, the WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants is a pioneering alliance between two not-for-profits that have been part of the fabric of local communities for over 30 years. 

Sixty-four environmental groups across the country will benefit from the landmark $1.185million grants partnership supporting recovery of wildlife habitats impacted by bushfire and drought.

Made possible due to the unprecedented volume of donations to WIRES from within Australia and around the world following the Black Summer bushfires, this grants program will support wide-ranging regeneration projects focused on restoring habitat impacted by the bushfires.

Projects include rainforest revegetation, installation of nest boxes to replace destroyed tree hollows for decimated native species, feeding programs for endangered wildlife, management of invasive weeds, erosion control and protection of our waterways and aquatic habitat.

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