ANGAIR has successfully applied for grants for three separate projects under the Federal Government’s Wild Otways Initiative. The Wild Otways Initiative is a $6 million investment from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund to improve conservation outcomes in the Otways region.

The initiative includes the delivery of a broad and inclusive environmental community grants program and five commissioned sub-projects: pig and deer eradication, fox and cat management, Phytophthora (a plant pathogen) management, small mammal conservation and rewilding in the Otways.

Senator Sarah Henderson and Corangamite Catchment Management Authority CEO, John Riddiford, formally launched the initiative and announced all grant recipients at ANGAIR’s Moonah restoration site on the Anglesea River recently.

senatorhendersonSenator Henderson with group

The first project, the Moonah project, has $11,970 allocated to restore and create 1.5 acres of Moonah woodland next to Fairyland in the heart of Anglesea. Volunteers at ANGAIR propagation unit are growing a range of local native plants required to generate the appropriate mix required for the woodland. Moonah woodlands are threatened vegetation communities because of their limited distribution along the coast and the clearing associated with the intense pressures imposed by tourism, agriculture and urbanisation. The project will provide improved habitat for related fauna including the EPBC listed Swamp Antechinus and Rufous Bristlebirds. Forty Scouts recently assisted ANGAIR volunteers with an initial planting at the site.

scoutsScouts planting at Fairyland

The second project, with funds allocated of $23,080, is strategic woody weed removal in the Anglesea Heath. This work will be done by contractors and then ANGAIR volunteers will do the very important follow-up weeding work required so that long term weed control is achieved.

The third project, with allocated funds of $50,519, is located on private land in the Painkalac Valley. ANGAIR volunteers have been involved in this large restoration project for at least a year with spectacular results to date. The initial project was part funded by a Victorian Landcare grant and private landholder funds. Native grasslands, wetlands and woodland communities are being restored/created on 4.5 hectares of land providing key biodiversity links to adjoining remnant vegetation. Already local monitoring has indicated many species of birds and some rare mammals are returning to what was recently highly modified agricultural grazed paddocks.

Peter Forster

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