Peel landholders to benefit from new online conservation program

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

The Peel Harvey Catchment Council has welcomed a new online platform for the national wildlife conservation program, Land for Wildlife.

The program went digital in Western Australia in December to enable landholders to easily join and participate.

With almost 2000 members across WA, Land for Wildlife volunteers manage more than one million hectares of the states unique natural environment.

This includes habitat for significant species like the Black Cockatoo and Western Ring-tailed Possum and threatened ecosystems like the Banksia Woodlands.

A free, non-binding program, Land for Wildlife is delivered in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and the state's seven regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups - including the Peel Harvey Catchment Council.

The online system, which was developed in collaboration with the organisations, makes it easier for landholders to register their interest to join the program.

Participants receive a free site assessment report, advice on how to protect and restore wildlife habitat on their properties and are directly connected to their regional NRM group.

This can assist landholders to plan future restoration and management activities and, in some cases, provide opportunities for funding assistance to carry out on-ground works.

The new online system will also help to improve online communication between participating landholders and the DBCA and NRM regional groups and enables coordinators to provide better support to landholders.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council chairperson Caroline Knight reinforced the importance of the program in supporting community members doing conservation on their own properties.

"This program is a relatively small, but critical way in which we can assist landholders who conserve habitat and wildlife for everyone's benefit," she said.

"It is essential that government and regional NRMs continue to work together to grow this program."

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Minister for Agriculture and Food Alannah MacTiernan said it was fantastic to see the groups breathing life back into the community-focused land conservation stewardship program.

"Land for Wildlife is a great way for the state government and regional NRM groups to provide technical and practical support to landholders who voluntarily take-up conservation on their own properties," she said.

"Protecting our wildlife requires a state-wide effort and this project is a great way to assist landholders who are undertaking on-the-ground conservation."

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson congratulated the DBCA, the regional NRM community and the Peel Harvey Catchment Council for their commitment to the program.

"As there is increased pressure on the state's native wildlife, the role of landholders in providing habitat for threatened species and ecosystems will continue to grow," he said.

NRM WA chairperson, Dr Robert Keogh, welcomed the launch of the new online system.

"The new system will continue to boost interest in Land for Wildlife and enable NRM regional groups to improve the support they provide to landholders conserving the environment," he said.

"NRM groups directly support over 450 landholders each year to restore and conserve WA's precious environment.

"This is in addition to the support we provide to local landcare and environmental groups, local governments and state government agencies."

For more information, visit the Department of Parks and Wildlife website.