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Future-proofing wildlife habitat on Raymond Island

Raymond Island’s iconic koalas are benefiting from the efforts of dedicated Landcare volunteers.

Raymond Island’s iconic koalas are benefiting from the efforts of dedicated Landcare volunteers with an 8-hectare revegetation plan to establish a wildlife corridor along the south-eastern side of the island.

The Raymond Island Landcare Group and Koala Island Foundation are working on a project to expand the Raymond Island koala trail that helps the island’s 30,000 visitors get close to nature with minimum impact, whilst restoring food and habitat for koalas and other native wildlife.

The revegetation project is funded by the $14 million dollar Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grant program that supports bushfire recovery projects in regions impacted by the Black Summer fires.

The funding for the project enables significant revegetation works for the ‘Koala Trail and Discovery Experience’ project, which has been developed in consultation with community and government stakeholders and has attracted over $1.15 million in federal, state, and local government funding.


Future proofing Raymond Island


The 8-hectare area of jointly managed Parks Victoria and Gunaikurnai land has been selected for revegetation using over 18,000 seedlings mixed of 40 indigenous biodiverse species endemic to the coastal eco-system of East Gippsland and Raymond Island, including manna gum, which is a key food source for koalas.

Gunaikurnai traditional owners have a key role in the project and revegetation works are designed to ensure protection of key cultural heritage sites. The revegetated area will be named ‘Jirrah’ meaning Kangaroo in Gunaikurnai language.

As well as restoring koala habitat, the wildlife corridor along the south-eastern side of the island provides a refuge in unburnt habitat for birds, insects and evacuated wildlife in future bushfire events, including Rufous Fantail, Swift Parrot, White-throated Needletail, Grey-headed Flying-fox and Gang-gang cockatoo.

Raymond Island Landcare Group is leading by example and encouraging private landholders to revegetate their land using seeds and cuttings with local provenance. President of the Raymond Island Landcare Group Pamela Williams-Wright said, “It has been encouraging to see the community and landowners plant over 8,000 seedlings on the island so far this year, with a big focus on restoring biodiversity”.

“We’re really grateful to get the funding from the Landcare bushfire recovery grant program that’ll allow us to do something on a bigger scale benefiting all creatures great and small” said Ms. Williams-Wright. “It’ll bring back life to a degraded area and we’re looking forward to seeing it become a thriving resource for wildlife on the island”.

 

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