Project to protect threatened species

GIPPSLAND Water has teamed up with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority to protect threatened species at its 5000-hectare environmentally significant site north of Golden Beach.

The project began last year, and is already having positive results, according to Gippsland Water managing director Sarah Cumming.

“This project is all about protecting rare native animals and plants through pest management, as part of our commitment to maintaining the biodiversity of the region,” she said.

“We expect the significant reduction in pest animal activity achieved by this program will have major benefits across our property and beyond.

“This includes the neighbouring coastal park, Gippsland Lakes and the many farms nearby.

“The data we gather from this project will also be used by our environmental scientists to plan future conservation projects around the property.”

Ms Cumming said the partnership would involve a variety of measures to allow native flora and fauna to thrive.

“Foxes and rabbits are introduced species which prey on or compete for food with native animals such as the endangered New Holland Mouse,” she said.

“If allowed to reach high numbers, these pest animals can wreak havoc on our local ecosystem, decimating native plant and animal populations.

“That’s why this project is so important not only now, but to preserve the unique ecology of our region for future generations.”

The Enhancing Biodiversity at Dutson Downs project is co-funded by Gippsland Water, WGCMA and the state government.