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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 Long-tailed Spider Orchid, Plomleys Trapdoor Spider and Clasping-Leaf Heath are among a number of species that stand a better chance of survival after the announcement today of Federal Government funding to Tasmanian community groups.

Three community groups have received funding totalling $13,500 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants Program to undertake action to help safeguard the future of some of Tasmania's threatened biodiversity.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill said the latest funding complements more than 10,000 Natural Heritage Trust projects across the country with Commonwealth Government support in protecting species through work such as 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 in 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 Tasmania play a vital role in helping to save Australia's unique and precious threatened species. Tasmanian projects funded in this round will undertake on-ground activities including protection of a population of the nationally Vulnerable Long-tailed Spider Orchids located in a patch of urban bushland, currently used for recreational purposes.

"The Stoney Point Bushcare Group will use its $4,000 funding to provide long-term protection for the Long-tailed Spider Orchid by fencing off the population, removing weeds, raising community awareness and producing a management plan."

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 Tasmanian 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 Tasmanian 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 Tasmanian Threatened Species Network coordinator:
Peter McGlone
C/- Tasmanian Conservation Trust
Ph: (03) 6234 3552
Fax: (03) 6231 2491

Project Title: Threatened Species of Glenorchy: On-ground Protection/Strategic Planning
Grant: $5000
Proponent: Glenorchy Precinct Committees
Project Summary: This project is tied in with the Glenorchy City Council's Threatened Species Management Strategy. It will undertake essential on-ground protection of nationally listed species, including the Basalt Peppercress, Curly Sedge and Clasping-leaf Heath, and assist with the development of management plans for threatened species habitat within the municipality. The aim of the strategy is to integrate threatened species protection and community action with council development and approval processes.

Project Title: Long-tailed Spider Orchid: On-ground Protection at Austins Ferry
Grant: $4000
Proponent: Stony Point Bushcare Group
Project Summary: This project aims to protect a population of Long-tailed Spider Orchids (Caladenia caudata) located in a patch of urban bushland which is currently used for recreational purposes. It will provide immediate, long-term protection by fencing off the population, removing weeds, raising community awareness and producing a management plan.

Project Title: Successfully Managing Plomleys Trapdoor Spider and the Cataract Gorge Snail
Grant: $4500
Proponent: Launceston Environment Centre Inc.
Project Summary: Plomleys Trapdoor Spider is an endemic spider with a very restricted distribution. Only five females have been found in the area so far. Although the general habitat is woodland, the spider needs a discrete micro environment of lush, mossy boulders in creeklines and gorges with a southerly aspect. Another endemic species with a very limited distribution - the Cataract Gorge Snail - is also found in the same mossy boulder environs within the same restricted area. The project seeks to properly secure the area as a reserve under the National Parks Act and to manage the various weeds that are threatening the mossy habitats.

Commonwealth of Australia