In Environment

Victoria Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith

$1.86 Million For Research On Victoria’s Threatened Species

Victor P Taffa

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith announced today that the Victorian Government is delivering a $1.86 Million project to collect new information on some of the state’s rarest inhabitants to help strike the best possible balance between timber production and the protection of biodiversity.

Mr. Smith said part of this research would form the largest program of threatened species surveys undertaken by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) in more than a decade.

“The project will involve gathering up-to-date information on the distribution and habitat of key threatened fauna species in public native forests in eastern Victoria.” Mr. Smith said.

“The species being surveyed include the Smoky Mouse, Long-footed Potoroo, Leadbeater’s Possum, Powerful Owl, Sooty Owl, Masked Owl and Galaxias.”

“The research is being conducted by DSE’s Arthur Rylah Institute with funding from the Department of Primary Industries.” Mr. Smith said.

“This project will enable DSE to develop a policy and regulatory framework for threatened species management based on the newest information and most up to date science.”

“It will give us a good understanding of the distribution and abundance of threatened species and increased knowledge of the habitats that are most important to them.”

“With this understanding we can deliver a contemporary, science-based regulatory framework to help protect the environment while delivering greater security and certainty to the timber industry.” Mr. Smith said.

“And by focusing on the priority areas for threatened species we can make sure the Forest Management Zoning Scheme in Victoria is appropriate for the long-term conservation of threatened species.”

“All Victorians derive huge social and economic benefits from our native forests and to continue to enjoy these benefits we need to strike the right balance between the conservation of biodiversity and the supply of timber and other commercial forest products.” Mr. Smith said.

This project is delivering on actions outlined in the Victorian Government’s Timber Industry Action Plan, which was released in December 2011. The Timber Industry Action Plan provides a long term plan for a productive, competitive and sustainable timber industry for Victoria.

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