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

7 September 2001


The threatened Eastern Bristlebird, Mary River Turtle and Bulloak Jewel Butterfly are among a number of species that stand a better chance of survival after the announcement today of Federal Government funding to Queensland community groups.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill announced that eight community groups have received funding totalling $150,500 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program to undertake action to help safeguard the future of some of Queensland's threatened biodiversity.

Senator Hill said this latest funding would complement 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 or habitat restoration.

Speaking at this year's National Threatened Species Day event in Brisbane, Senator Hill announced more than $520,000 in round four of the grants, supporting 40 new projects across Australia.

"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 Queensland play a vital role in helping to save Australia's unique and precious threatened species. Queensland projects funded in this round will undertake on-ground activities including habitat restoration, species population surveys and weed control.

"Birds Queensland, for example, will use its $13,000 in funding, to help increase the quantity and quality of habitats, both on public and private lands, available for the critically endangered Eastern Bristlebird.

"The project has a regional focus, and aims to increase community awareness of the problems faced by this species and the threats to its habitat."

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 Queensland 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 Queensland 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 any of the projects listed here or to get in contact with proponents, please contact the Queensland Threatened Species Network coordinator:
Mike Gregory
c/- Queensland Conservation Council
Ph: (07) 3221 0573
Fax: (07) 3229 7992

Project Title: A Regional Recovery Plan for the False Water Rat
Grant: $20,000
Proponent: Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld. (Head Office)
Project Summary: This project focuses on developing a South-east Queensland Regional Recovery Plan for the False Water Rat. This activity builds upon a previous Threatened Species Network Community Grant, which surveyed and monitored the species. The project also aims to achieve broader biodiversity benefits for regionally significant coastal wetlands. It is an excellent possible flagship for coastal management and protection - in particular intertidal and freshwater wetlands.

Project Title: A Community-Based Recovery Plan for the Bulloak Jewel Butterfly
Grant: $10,000
Proponent: The Hut Environmental & Community Association Inc. (THECA)
Project Summary: The Bulloak Jewel Butterfly occurs at only one locality in Queensland, covering about 12km2, mostly among roadside vegetation. This project will undertake population surveys and examine a range of recovery options. This project creates an opportunity for on-ground action and community involvement and awareness raising in relation to invertebrate species.

Project Title: Pilot Mary River Turtle Conservation Project
Grant: $30,000
Proponent: Greening Australia
Project Summary: A few decades ago Mary River Turtles nested in great numbers, however, the last known survey found only 13 nesting females. This pilot project aims to initiate conservation and management strategies to help save this endangered turtle. Co-operation between the community and scientists will help to protect three of the most productive nesting sites, and work will be undertaken to artificially incubate some clutches. Data collected will be help to provide guidance for future turtle conservation works.

Project Title: Spectacled Flying Fox (SFF) Project
Grant: $18,500
Proponent: Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland
Project Summary: The Spectacled Flying Fox population has suffered a significant decline. The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, alongside the community, will conduct a population census of the species, and examine ways of locating Spectacled Flying Fox colonies.

Project Title: Eastern Bristlebird - Community, Habitat and Management Project
Grant: $13,000
Proponent: Birds Queensland
Project Summary: 'Hands-on' community and landholder participation will help to increase the quantity and quality of habitats, both on public and private lands, available for the critically endangered Eastern Bristlebird in Queensland. This project has a regional focus, and aims to increase community awareness of the problems faced by this species and the threats to its habitat.

Project Title: Kin Kin and Upper Pinbarren Creeks Revegetation Program
Grant: $20,000
Proponent: Save Today Our Parkland (STOP)
Project Summary: The Save Today Our Parkland community group in Queensland will restore and expand habitat at three sites near Kin Kin in the Noosa Shire. This restoration will benefit an endangered regional ecosystem and a suite of threatened plants and animals, including the Coxen's Fig-Parrot, the Powerful Owl and the Richmond Birdwing Butterfly. Ongoing monitoring will provide more valuable records of these species and assist in gauging the success of the revegetation program.

Project Title: Community Catchment Management for Threatened Species and Ecological Communities
Grant: $14,000
Proponent: Whites Hill - Pine Mountain Community Group Inc & Bulimba Creek Catchment Co-ordinating Committee Inc
Project Summary: Bulimba Creek catchment is a complex natural system comprised of major bushland reserves linked through natural corridors to the main creek system. Habitat loss and fragmentation affect many of the species found in the system, including the threatened Eprapah Wattle, the Macadamia and the Powerful Owl. The focus of these two community groups is to protect and restore threatened species and ecological communities at a catchment level, in conjunction with private landholders.

Project Title: Protection, Enhancement and Restoration of Key Cassowary Habitat in Cardwell Shire
Grant: $25,000
Proponent: Conservation Volunteers Australia
Project Summary: The Southern Cassowary, which can be found in the lowland coastal rainforests of far north Queensland, is threatened by habitat fragmentation. The remaining habitat patches in the Mission Beach/Tully region are becomingly increasingly susceptible to invasion by weeds, which, in turn, reduces the amount of food plants available for the cassowary. The Cardwell Shire Council, along with the Cassowary Advisory Group and Conservation Volunteers Australia, will undertake a planning project to identify areas of remnant vegetation on private land, and will seek to halt the process of degradation in some strategic sites and maintain habitat corridors between the coastal strip and the ranges to the west.

Commonwealth of Australia