Lorna Glen Land Restoration By 2020

Lorna Glen Land Restoration By 2020

Western Australia Minister for Environment John Day

Groundbreaking Landscape Recovery Project Reaches Major Milestone

Victor P Taffa

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) is celebrating 10 years of successful work on a Groundbreaking Project that aims to restore 600,000ha of former Pastoral Lease Land at Lorna Glen (Matuwa) in the Northern Goldfields to its natural state by 2020.

Environment Minister John Day said Operation Rangelands Restoration was one of the world’s biggest and most extensive arid zone wildlife Reconstruction Projects.

“Never before has a team of land managers, scientists and conservation experts along with traditional owners embarked on such an ambitious plan in an area of this size that seeks to restore ecosystem health and wildlife diversity.” Mr. Day said.

“The State Government purchased the former pastoral lease at Lorna Glen for conservation 10 years ago and collective efforts have made it a model for science-based nature conservation and land management in Australia.”

 

“This major project combines all the elements of the department’s conservation work on a landscape scale and it is the culmination of decades of scientific research, underpinned by the latest advances in technology.” Mr. Day said.

DEC provides about $250,000 in annual funding to the project, which this year received additional funding of $250,000 for fencing and pest management. This was further supported by $300,000 from an offset program managed by DEC and funded by the Gorgon Joint Venture participants.

The Minister said activities carried out by DEC and the Wiluna Aboriginal community in the last decade included reintroductions of mammals that once occupied the arid zone, but had disappeared since European settlement.

“An 1,100ha predator-proof compound has been built to enable reintroduced animals to acclimatise before being released into the wild, and the intention is to eventually expand the enclosure as part of a longer term strategy to create ‘inland islands’ that permanently protect the most sensitive and susceptible species.” Mr. Day said.

“In addition to the reintroduced animals, some native species, present in very low numbers 10 years ago, including mulgaras, echidnas and some reptiles, have increased in abundance.”

“DEC has also removed livestock, feral cats and other introduced animals from Lorna Glen and nearby Earaheedy (Kurrara Kurrara), established joint land management, controlled bushfires and built a boundary fence with neighbouring landholders.”

“During the next 10 years, it is planned to re-establish 11 species of native animals, making it the world’s biggest reconstruction program of its kind. Already 90 brushtail possums, 127 boodies and 140 bilbies have been reintroduced.” Mr. Day said.