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Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
7 September 2001
The threatened Bilby, Great Desert Skink and Mulgara are among a number of species that stand a better chance of survival after the announcement today of Federal Government funding to Northern Territory community groups.
One community group has received funding totalling $15,000 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program to undertake action to help safeguard the future of some of the Northern Territory's threatened biodiversity.
Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said the latest funding complemented more than 10,000 Natural Heritage Trust projects across the country that have Commonwealth Government support in protecting species through work like feral animal control and habitat restoration. Speaking at this year's National Threatened Species Day event in Brisbane, Senator Hill announced total funding of over $520,000 to 40 community groups across Australia through round four of the Grants.
"The Threatened Species Network Community Grants, a joint initiative of the Federal Government's $2.5 billion Natural Heritage Trust and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), not only assist in saving our unique flora and fauna but also reward community groups with the recognition they deserve," Senator Hill said.
"Local communities in the Northern Territory play a vital role in helping to save Australia's unique and precious threatened species. The Northern Territory project funded in this round will integrate the knowledge and experience gained from traditional owners with modern conservation objectives to deliver on-ground outcomes in feral control on arid lands.
"With $15,000 funding, the Tangentyere Council will examine the use of Aboriginal predator and fire management to protect threatened fauna in the Tanami Desert, including the Bilby, the Great Desert Skink and the Mulgara.
"Hunting will take place in two trial areas and the population levels of threatened fauna will be compared to population levels in two similar areas where hunting does not take place."
WWF Australia Chief Executive Officer Dr David Butcher highlighted the importance of the Threatened Species Network Community Grants program in building community interest in conservation activities.
"Australia has one of the world's most megadiverse ecosystems, yet many of our native species are currently at risk of extinction," Dr Butcher said.
"The conservation work that is funded through this important partnership between WWF, community groups throughout Australia and the Federal government is a vital step toward creating awareness of Australia's unique environment by encouraging community participation in a range of projects and conservation initiatives that will help conserve native wildlife. Conserving threatened species and ecosystems has been the foundation of WWF's work internationally for 40 years and WWF is pleased to continue this relationship with NT communities and the Natural Heritage Trust."
National Threatened Species Day is held on 7 September each year to commemorate the day that the last Tasmanian Tiger died in captivity in 1936. A list of NT projects funded in 2001-02 is attached.
September 7, 2001
Belinda Huppatz (Senator Hill) (02) 6277 7640 or 0419 258 364
Rosslyn Beeby (WWF) (02) 9281 5515 or 0419 520 960
For further information on this project or to get in contact with the proponent, please contact the Northern Territory Threatened Species Network coordinator:
C/- Arid Lands Environment Centre
Ph: (08) 8952 1541
Fax: (08) 8953 2988
Project Title: Conservation of Threatened Species Around Nyirripi Community
Proponent: Tangentyere Council Inc.
Project Summary: This project examines the use of Aboriginal predator and fire management to protect threatened fauna in the Tanami Desert, including the Bilby, the Great Desert Skink and the Mulgara. Hunting will take place in two trial areas and the population levels of threatened fauna will be compared to population levels in two similar areas where hunting does not take place. This project combines research with on-ground outcomes, and has the potential to play an important role in developing an effective low-cost model for predator control around threatened species populations.