Saving our Species partnerships grants – Round 1 project summaries

The project summaries below detail the Saving our Species partnership grants awarded in June 2015.

Organisation Project title Amount awarded $
BirdLife Australia Saving the Regent Honeyeater    963,276
Central Tablelands Local Land Services Frogs, fish, flora and fresh flowing water 1,000,000
Murray Local Land Services Wild orchids: conservation and management of endangered orchids    585,322
OEH Regional Operations South Branch Partnerships protecting Shoalhaven plants     653,501
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Burning hotspots – Gondwana threatened species and fire    994,220

 A map detailing the location of  the five projects awarded in Round 1 has been made available to either be viewed online or downloaded.

Round 1 project summary detail


Birdlife Australia

Project title Saving the Regent Honeyeater
Grant $963,276
Consortium contribution $2,275,551
Project partners

Nature Conservation Trust of NSW

Taronga Zoo

Office of Environment and Heritage

Central Tablelands Local Land Services

Great Eastern Ranges Initiative
Target species Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera Phrygia)

Co-occuring species


All landscape-managed species:

Swift parrot (Lathamus discolour)

Hooded robin (Melanodryas cucullata)

Brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus)

Speckled warbler (Chthonicola sagittata)

Black-chinned honeyeater (Melithreptus gularis)

Grey-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis)

Little lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla)

Varied sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera)

Square-tailed kite (Lophoictinia isura)  

Project description

The Regent Honeyeater inhabits the woodlands and dry forests of south-east Australia. The bird has suffered an alarming decline across its entire range over the past 30 years to the extent that it is now critically endangered. This project seeks to reverse that decline and put the Regent Honeyeater on a path back to being secure in the wild in NSW. Since around 90 per cent of the population is now estimated to exist in NSW, the key recovery actions need to be undertaken here.

The project consolidates strategic partnerships already formed between BirdLife Australia (as the coordinator of the recovery program), Office of Environment and Heritage, Nature Conservation Trust of NSW, Taronga Zoo, Local Land Services, and Great Eastern Ranges Initiative to provide a clear recovery direction for the species.

Main threats to the species

  • Ongoing loss of habitat due to rural, residential and industrial development
  • Impacts from inappropriate agricultural techniques
  • Competitive domination of remnant habitat by noisy miners
  • Gaps in the knowledge of the species limiting ability to make evidence-based management decisions to improve the critically low population size of the species

Key actions

  • Monitoring the Regent Honeyeater and important areas of its habitat
  • Colour-branding the birds to improve understanding of their movements across the landscape
  • Securing conservation agreements on the titles of properties with vital habitat
  • Implementing control methods for native pest species implicated in the rapid decline of the Regent Honeyeater
  • Continuing the successful captive breeding and release program coordinated by Taronga Zoo

Other programs relevant to the project (such as habitat restoration in the Capertee Valley) enhance this project, resulting in a multi-layered and cross-sectional platform to ensure that Regent Honeyeaters are secured in the wild in NSW.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services

Project title  Frogs, fish, flora and fresh flowing water
Grant  $1,000,000
Consortium contribution  $1,996,700
Project partners South East Local Land Services

Riverina Local Land Services

Murray Local Land Services

Office of Environment and Heritage

Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries)

Taronga Conservation Society
Target species

Booroolong frog (Litoria booroolongensis)

Yellow-spotted bell frog (Litoria castanea)

Tumut grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii)
Co-occurring species

Partnership species:

Spotted tree frog (Litoria spenceri)

Project description

This project will increase the long-term viability and security of seven threatened species that rely on riparian environments in the central and south-west slopes region of NSW. This includes two site-managed frogs (Booroolong frog and yellow-spotted bell frog), one nationally listed (Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) partnership species (spotted tree frog), one site-managed plant (Tumut grevillea), two threatened fish (Macquarie perch and southern pygmy perch), and one threatened crayfish (Murray crayfish). This project will also increase the extent, connectivity, and value of an endangered ecological community (box-gum woodland) and benefit a range of threatened woodland bird species.

The key threats targeted in this project are the chytrid fungus amphibian, weed infestation (particularly blackberry and willow), and erosion due to inappropriate stock management and feral pigs.

Since the majority of the on-ground actions will enhance and protect riparian environments in the agricultural landscape, this project will demonstrate the capacity to combine primary production with biodiversity conservation.

The notable efficiencies associated with this project arise from the extensive baseline research, co-occurring threatened species and common threats, and the extensive community engagement that has been undertaken by Local Land Services, Office of Environment and Heritage, and Department of Primary Industries (Fisheries) over the past 15 years at the target sites.

Main threats to the species

  • Erosion and sedimentation – causing smothering and infilling of aquatic rock crevices
  • Competition and habitat modification caused by invasive weeds
  • Inappropriate grazing regimes
  • Site degradation by feral animals
  • Infectious disease, e.g. chytrid fungus amphibian
  • Demographic threats – may result in local extirpation

Murray Local Land Services

Project title Wild orchids: conservation and management of endangered orchids
Grant $585,322
Consortium contribution $835,579
Project partners Office of Environment and Heritage

Australian Network for Plant Conservation

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Friends of Woomargama

Forestry Corporation of NSW

Crown Lands Division – NSW Trade and Investment

Cocketgedong Pty. Ltd.
Target species Sandhill spider orchid (Caladenia arenaria)

Crimson spider orchid (Caladenia concolor)

Oaklands diuris (Diuris sp. Oaklands DL Jones 5380, equals D. callitrophila)
Co-occurring species

Keep watch species: 

Pine donkey orchid (Diuris tricolor)

Project description

Orchids are perhaps the most beautiful and mysterious of all Australian native flowering plants. These jewels of the bush are an important and striking addition to local biodiversity. Australia is home to over 800 species. Numerous terrestrial (ground-dwelling) orchids are found in southern Australia, including NSW. Unfortunately, a large number of these orchids are considered threatened and face extinction without proper management. The Wild Orchids project will secure the long-term viability of three of these threatened orchid species. We will achieve this by ensuring that the number and size of these orchid populations are sufficient to ensure their survival in 100 years.

Main threats to the species

  • Small population size
  • Hybridisation and introgression
  • Limited ecological knowledge
  • Competition and degradation from native and invasive species, e.g. weeds, rabbits, goats etc.
  • Inappropriate grazing regimes
  • Human interference e.g. road and/or track works, recreational users
  • Impacts from forestry activity
  • Innappropriate fire regimes and management activities

Key actions

  • Expanding existing populations of all three orchid species and establishing new populations using innovative and recently developed propagation techniques
  • Installing infrastructure at key sites to support ongoing management (e.g. fencing)
  • Controlling weeds
  • Identifying orchid pollinators
  • Community engagement and awareness raising activities (e.g. with schools and local communities)

OEH Regional Operations South Branch

Project title Partnerships protecting Shoalhaven plants 
Grant $653,501
Consortium contribution $1,483,313
Project partners OEH, South East Area Regional Operations Group
OEH, Parks and Wildlife Group (Ulladulla, Nowra and Metro Northeast)
OEH, Biodiversity and Wildlife Team (Nature Conservation Section)
Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust
Australian Botanic Garden (Mt Annan) and Australian National Botanic Gardens
Wollongong Botanic Gardens and Booderee Botanic Gardens
Australian Orchid Council and Australian Plant Society
Local Government: Shoalhaven City, Ku-ring-gai, Gosford City and Wyong Shire Councils
Multiple private landholders and Bomaderry Creek Landcare
Target species

Bomaderry zieria (Zieria baeuerlenii)

Nowra heath myrtle (Triplarina nowraensis)

Ettrema mallee (Eucalyptus sturgissiana)

Pterostylis ventricose (Pterostylis ventricose)

Pterostylis vernalis (Pterostylis vernalis)

Bauer's midge orchid (Genoplesium bauera)

Biconvex paperbark (Melaleuca biconvexa)

Thick-lip spider orchid (Caladenia tessellate)

Jervis Bay leek orchid (Prasophyllum affine)

Pretty beard orchid (Calochilus pulchellus)
Co-occurring species

Site-managed species:

Albatross mallee (Eucalyptus langleyi)

Landscape-managed species:

Black bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis)

Project description

The project seeks to establish and secure enduring partnerships with 12 confirmed partners (and five additional stakeholders) to coordinate action implementation and on-ground works for 10 site-managed flora species at 28 priority sites. In addition, a further objective is to build organisational and community capacity for collaboration and engagement in the species’ long-term conservation. Eight species are found only in the Shoalhaven Local Government Area (LGA), and two others are found in and beyond the Shoalhaven LGA. Actions include survey, monitoring, seed banking and re-planting, pest and weed control, securing landholder agreements, minimising development and disturbance impacts, fire planning, education/signage, and addressing site access issues.

Main threats to the species

The threats listed below impact some or all the 10 target species.

  • Overabundant native herbivores
  • Small population size, restricted distribution
  • Uncertainty of future land management practices
  • Inappropriate fire regime and risk of fire and wildfire
  • Road, track, motorway and rural, residential and industrial development
  • Lack of knowledge of threats and distributional information
  • Disturbance due to infrastructure, recreational users, changes in hydrology
  • Chemical pollution and eutrophication
  • Unmanaged stock grazing
  • Exotic species, e.g. herbaceous weeds, African lovegrass, rabbits
  • Climate change and drought
  • Disease, e.g. myrtle rust

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Project title Burning hotspots – Gondwana threatened species and fire
Grant $994,220
Project partners Southern Cross University

University of New South Wales

Northern Rivers Fire and Biodiversity Consortium

Border Ranges Alliance

Forestry Corporation NSW

Office of Environment & Heritage – North East Region
Target species Eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus)

Black-striped wallaby (Macropus dorsalis)

Long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus)

Three-toed snake-tooth skink (Coeranoscincus reticulatus)

Red-legged pademelon (Thylogale stigmatica)

Parma wallaby (Macropus parma)

Brush sophora (Sophora fraseri)

Native jute (Corchorus cunninghamii)
Co-occurring species

Landscape-managed species:

Rufous bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens)

Brush-tailed phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa)

Australian masked owl (Tyto novaehollandiae)

Yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis)

Squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis)


Keep watch species:

Hastings River mouse  (Pseudomys oralis)


Site-managed species:

Eastern chestnut mouse (Pseudomys gracilicaudatus

Project description

The project area encompasses the Australian Government's Border Ranges South Biodiversity Hotspot, identified as having the highest biodiversity and highest density of threatened species in NSW. This multi-species proposal captures key habitats of target species in seven national parks, three nature reserves, two state conservation area, five state forests and a range of private lands. The proposal aims to provide long-term security for four mammal, one bird, one reptile and two plant species, all priority site managed populations, in the wild.

The project will provide essential baseline data on presence, abundance and condition of these species and their habitat through camera monitoring and surveying. This information will address key knowledge gaps and will be used to implement fire, pest and weed management programs which will explicitly consider these species in management planning on a landscape scale across multiple land tenures during the life of the project and beyond. As a biodiversity hotspot, recovery actions, particularly appropriate fire management, will benefit more threatened species than those nominated and, importantly, will be applicable to threatened species recovery and threat management across the state.

Main threats to the species

For each of the target species the key threats are often the same or related.

  • Inappropriate burning regimes that lead to habitat modifications
  • Control or removal of wild dogs resulting in increasing competition with larger macropods and fox and cat predation
  • Clearing, modification and disturbance of key habitat, e.g. unmanaged livestock grazing understorey, feral pig activity, road construction
  • Invasive weeds impacting habitat e.g. lantana, crofton weed and mistflower
  • Limited and dispersed wild populations resulting in limited recruitment
  • Lack of information on species and ecological niche


Page last updated: 22 December 2015