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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage

11 October 2000

BOOST IN PROTECTION FOR AUSTRALIAN BIRDS


Environment Minister Robert Hill today released a new national blueprint for saving Australia's precious bird life.

The 673-page Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 was prepared by Birds Australia with funding from the Federal Government's $1.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust.

"Birds play a vital role in our environment by pollinating native plants, dispersing seeds and keeping insect populations in check. Their protection is essential in maintaining our rich biodiversity," Senator Hill said.

"In what has proved to be a huge task, the revised Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000 reviews the conservation status of all 1375 species and subspecies of Australian birds. It identifies 155 of them to be nationally threatened.

"The report shows Australia's birds are threatened by land clearance, agriculture and feral pests and then identifies ways to protect them.

"It has been eight years since the first Bird Action Plan was released and since then much has been done to arrest their decline. Many species have benefited from new projects, including seven species that have improved so dramatically from more effective conservation that they now warrant a less stringent classification."

The Plan complements federal government spending of more than $56 million on a range of community and regional projects to protect our bird species, including the development of a National Bird Atlas (See attached table for funding details).

"Between 1996 and 2000, more than 142 bird projects have been undertaken through the Natural Heritage Trust and related programs, including the Endangered Species Program, Coasts and Clean Seas and the National Wetlands Program."

The diverse range of projects include:
A NSW project to protect Superb Parrot habitat;
A QLD project to restore and protect bushland for the Glossy Black Cockatoo;
A SA project to restore swamp land in the Mount Lofty Ranges to protect the Southern Emu-wren;
A TAS project to protect nesting and migratory shorebirds in Tasmania;
A VIC project to eradicate foxes predating Little Penguins on Phillip Island;
A WA project to survey mallee fowl in the Eastern Goldfields area.

11 October 2000

Contacts:
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Anne-Marie Delahunt (Environment Australia) (02) 6274 2240 or 0412 446 136


Bird projects funded under the Natural Heritage Trust and related programs between 1996-2000

State Program No. of projects Funding
National Endangered Species Program 4 $2,003,436
National Coasts & Clean Seas 1 $108,500
National National Wetlands Program 2 $2,100,000
Total 7 $4,211,936
State Program No. of projects Funding
NSW Endangered Species Program 1 $683,000
NSW Bushcare 5 $1,134,840
NSW Coasts & Clean Seas 5 $664,066
NSW National Wetlands Program 2 $1,802,554
NSW World Heritage Area Management & Upkeep Program 5 $504,000
Total 18 $4,788,460
State Program No. of projects Funding
Qld Endangered Species Program 5 $684,054
Qld Bushcare 8 $4,869,436
Qld Coasts & Clean Seas 7 $732,637
Qld National Wetlands Program 2 $1,140,489
Qld World Heritage Area Management & Upkeep Program 5 $1,213,000
Total 27 $8,639,616
State Program No. of projects Funding
SA Endangered Species Program 4 $3,602,900
SA Bushcare 17 $8,142,296
SA National Wetlands Program 1 $128,000
Total 22 $11,873,196
State Program No. of projects Funding
Tas Endangered Species Program 4 $4,541,630
Tas Bushcare 1 $631,060
Tas Coasts & Clean Seas 9 $692,203
Tas National Wetlands Program 3 $770,187
Tas One Billion Trees 1 $51,620
Total 18 $6,686,700
State Program No. of projects Funding
Vic Endangered Species Program 3 $6,371,096
Vic Bushcare 11 $6,621,705
Vic Coasts & Clean Seas 20 $1,793,634
Vic National Wetlands Program 1 $53,600
Total 35 $14,840,035
State Program No. of projects Funding
WA Endangered Species Program 5 $2,658,810
WA Bushcare 1 $31,304
WA Coasts & Clean Seas 3 $496,930
WA World Heritage Area Management & Upkeep Program 4 $143,340
Total 13 $3,330,384
State Program No. of projects Funding
NT Endangered Species Program 1 $1,000,000
NT National Wetlands Program 1 $629,689
Total 2 $1,629,689
Overall
Total

142 $56,000,016
Commonwealth of Australia