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Our woodland birds need your help

Have you heard of or seen the Regent Honeyeater?

Did you know the Regent Honeyeater is critically endangered and there are only 400 left in the wild?

The Regent Honeyeater is found only in south-east Australia and the numbers are in decline due to loss of habitat. The Hunter is home to at least two key biodiversity areas, that provide vital habitat for Regent Honeyeaters and other threatened woodland birds for foraging and breeding within remnant endangered ecological communities, Box Gum Grassy Woodlands and Spotted Gum-Ironbark forests.

These key biodiversity areas are the Mudgee-Wollar (Goulburn National Park and surrounds) and the Cessnock Biodiversity area. To coincide with Threatened Species Day, this Saturday 7 September, Hunter Local Land Services is reaching out to landholders from the wider Cessnock area and Merriwa plateau that are interested in partnering with us to revegetate up to four hectares of their property with the local native vegetation, over the next four years.

Revegetation projects may include developing large scale wildlife corridors and/or shelterbelts. In the Hunter alone there are 28 woodland bird species that BirdLife Australia has listed in its conservation action plan for protection, due to significant population decline over the last 25 years.

This includes the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot, and other vulnerable species such as Grey-Crowned and White-Browed Babblers, Brown Treecreeper, Hooded Robin and Little Lorikeet.

“The ‘Bringing back the Regent Honeyeater’ is an exciting new project under the Australian Government’s National Landcare program which can assist with the recovery of Regent Honeyeaters and other threatened woodland birds to our region, that complements another project under this program; restoring Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in the Upper Hunter,” said Carolyn Jenkinson, Project Officer for Hunter Local Land Services Natural Resource Management Team.

“Through these projects we are looking to partner with land managers in the Cessnock area and Merriwa Plateau to restore significant woodland bird habitats on their land.

“To navigate this through the drought and ensure good planning, all projects are supported by a site specific Revegetation Plan and choosing appropriate species lists, our staff will work with landholders to coordinate site preparation, planting and maintenance with community and volunteers over the next one to two years, to give the plants and trees the best chance of rebuilding habitat.

Hunter Local Land Services can also provide landholders with incentives to protect and enhance remnant native vegetation through fencing, off-stream watering and weed control.

“We will also be running a series of related workshops and field days for landholders including demonstrations of revegetation techniques and woodland bird information days to build relevant skills and knowledge in our community,” says Carolyn.

Landholders who are interested in coordinating their own revegetation sites or are willing to partner with Hunter LLS for a community planting site on their land can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).

If you are located in the Merriwa Plateau or wider Cessnock area and are interested in getting involved or would like further information, or to view our Incentives Priority Map, please complete an Expression Of Interest via https://hunter.lls.nsw.gov.au/our-region/grants-funding-scholarships

The “Bringing Back the Regent Honeyeater” and “In Good Hands: Landcare and Farmers restoring Box Gum Grassy Woodlands” projects are supported by Hunter Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.