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

Trust Funds to Conserve Threatened Rock-Rats

23 July 1997

The Howard Government has allocated $1.2 million from the Natural Heritage Trust to fund 49 projects, including two in the Northern Territory, aimed at protecting threatened native plants and animals.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the NT projects, totalling $63 300, will be among the first conducted as part of Australia's largest environmental rescue effort.

"Through the Natural Heritage Trust, the Howard Government is supporting an increase in effective activity on-the-ground, where it will directly help to restore threatened species to a secure status in the wild.

"The 49 projects will target a range of species in urgent need of conservation action and enable government agencies and local communities to work together to protect threatened species in their region.

"The Northern Territory's Parks and Wildlife Commission will concentrate on the conservation of two very rare species of rock-rats.

"The commission will study the population and habitat of the nationally endangered Central Rock-rat to help determine the extent of its range in Central Australia.

"The work will include looking at its habitat requirements and collecting three rock-rats to expand the Territory government's captive-breeding program near Alice Springs.

"The commission will also conduct an extensive survey of the Carpentarian Rock-rat's habitat.

"In addition, Trust funding of $17 700 will enable Parks Australia North to conduct a survey of a nationally endangered mammal species on Christmas Island, the Christmas Island Shrew."

Anyone wanting to participate in nature conservation projects such as these can contact Environment Australia on 06 250 0200 or the Threatened Species network coordinator for the Northern Territory on 08 8952 1541.

Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640
David Kay (Environment Australia) 06 250 0240 or 250 0766
23 July 1997

Commonwealth of Australia