Landowners managing wildlife habitats in the Lake Clifton catchment, across Mandurah and Waroona, will be able to benefit from a fresh funding injection into the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council.
City of Mandurah have committed to funding a part-time Land for Wildlife officer in the area.
Shire of Waroona has also contributed funds to boost the project within its first year.
Lake Clifton is one of the most valuable environmental assets of the City of Mandurah and broader Peel region.
Land for Wildlife is a long-running voluntary scheme which encourages and assists property owners to include nature conservation with other land management practices.
Changes to the Western Australian funding structure means Land for Wildlife is now being delivered by each of the seven NRM Regions across the state.
Thanks to funding from the City of Mandurah and the Shire of Waroona, the council’s Land for Wildlife officer will assist landholders to develop personalised plans for their property helping to integrate nature conservation with current land use practice with flow on benefits to Lake Clifton.
The lake is part of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar Site, a wetland of international significance.
It provides habitat for numerous migratory and resident shorebird species and is also home to a 15 kilomtres reef of Thrombolites.
The Lake Clifton Thrombolites attract over 250,000 visitors a year.
This federally protected microbial colony of calcareous rock-like structures are thought to be more than 2000 years old.
Lake Clifton is a fragile environment under threat from a changing climate and certain land management practices within the broader catchment.
This poses a questionable future for the environmental value of the lake itself.
The health of Lake Clifton is inextricably connected to the management of land and water in its catchment.
This property owner stewardship project has been designed by City of Mandurah officers and the Peel Harvey Catchment Council to help address these issues.
The Land for Wildlife project will inform, enthuse and support landholders to undertake land management practices aimed at improving wildlife habitat on their property and improving the condition of the lake’s catchment.
The ultimate aim is to restore habitats in the lake’s catchment and improve the lake’s water quality and ecosystem functions.
Over the next 5 years, the council’s Land for Wildlife officer will undertake site assessments and invite participating landowners to enter into voluntary management agreements. Those that do enter into VMA’s will have access to grant funding for nature conservation projects (subject to future funding).
The Land for Wildlife officer will offer advice, such as:
- how to integrate wildlife habitat with other uses of private land
- how to manage remnant bushland and the area’s wildlife
- the ecological role and requirements of native plants and animals
- how to include wildlife aspects into revegetation schemes and landcare
- information about other assistance and incentives that are available
The council is already fielding expressions of interest and anticipates high participant numbers upon project commencement.
The council will continue to work with the City of Mandurah and Shire of Waroona on a range of community engagement activities such as workshops and field days to promote the benefits of the Land for Wildlife project and its value to the health of Lake Clifton.
For more information please visit the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council website at http://www.peel-harvey.org.au/