Saving our Species partnerships grants – Round 2 project summaries

The project summaries below detail the Saving our Species partnership grants awarded in June 2016.

OrganisationProject titleAmount awarded $
Australian National University Saving Our Swift Parrots and Threatened Woodland Species 1,000,000
Central Tablelands Local Land Services Swamped by threats: conserving threatened species of upland swamps 742,500
Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Turtles Forever: Securing the NSW population of Bell's Turtle 985,191
South East Local Land Services Save Our Scarlet Robin 989,997
  4 projects totalling 3,717,688

A map detailing the location (PDF 593KB) of the four projects awarded in Round 2 has been made available to either be viewed online or downloaded.

Round 2 project summary detail

Australian National University

Project title Saving our Swift Parrots and threatened woodland species
Grant $1,000,000
Consortium contribution $2,239,782
Project partners

The Australian National University

Office of Environment & Heritage (Riverina and Hunter-Central Coast)

Local Land Services (Riverina, Greater Sydney and Hunter)

Local Councils (Wyong Shire and Lake Macquarie City)

BirdLife Australia

Greening Australia

Bush Heritage Australia

Landcare networks (Murrumbidgee, Wyong and Lake Macquarie)
Target species Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolour)

Number of toolbox actions implemented

6 of 6


Project description

The objective of this project is to improve long term viability of the nationally endangered Swift Parrot population in NSW, as well as a diversity of co-occurring threatened woodland species and endangered ecological communities. This will be achieved by identifying priority sites, empowering established community networks and land managers to implement habitat rehabilitation and restoration works at these sites, and securing their long term management, monitoring and protection.

Main threats to the species

  • Habitat loss and degradation
  • Reduced food resources during drought
  • Climate change impacts on habitat
  • Psittacine beak and feather disease
  • Collision mortality.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services

Project title Swamped by threats: conserving threatened species of upland swamps
Grant $742,500
Consortium contribution $1,162,740
Project partners

Greater Sydney Local Land Services

Office of Environment & Heritage

Blue Mountains City Council

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Forestry Corporation

Lithgow Oberon Landcare Association
Target species
  1. Giant Dragonfly (Petalura gigantea)
  2. Blue Mountains Water Skink (Eulamprus leuraensis)

Number of toolbox actions implemented

  1. 8 of 10
  2. 9 of 11

Project description

This project will align the efforts of government, researchers and the community and contribute to securing seven threatened species in the wild that rely on threatened peat swamps along the Blue Mountains and Newnes Plateau and the hydrological services the swamps provide.

Specifically the project will: maintain viable populations of two landscape-managed fauna species - Giant Dragonfly (protected across a stronghold of its range), and the Blue Mountains Water Skink (protected across its entire range); protect three site-managed flora species (Deane's Boronia, Epacris hamiltonii and Dwarf Mountain Pine) by improving the quality of their habitat at SOS priority sites; and protect and improve the condition of three threatened ecological communities (Blue Mountains Swamps, Montane Peatlands and Swamps and Newnes Plateau Shrub Swamp).

The project draws upon a solid foundation of partners with a proven track record of working together to deliver conservation outcomes. They will provide significant in-kind contributions of additional funding, provision of expertise, technical support and by drawing on their networks of volunteers. It will continue to support and re-engage the community across the species’ entire range and involve them in project activities and by knowledge sharing.

Management actions to address threats identified in the toolboxes include: pest animal management and community education of the impact of predation by domestic pets; collaboration with stakeholders to understand and implement appropriate fire regimes; engaging community through education activities and volunteer work days; swamp re-hydration and water quality improvements through erosion control and storm water management; and weed control.

Main threats to the species

The greatest threat to both species and their threatened swamp habitats is habitat loss and degradation. The following threats contribute to, or exacerbate habitat loss and degradation:

  • Climate change
  • Stormwater run-off into swamps
  • Loss of groundwater resources in swamps
  • Inappropriate access
  • Inappropriate fire regime and disturbance caused by fire management activities
  • Weed invasion
  • Agricultural activities
  • Habitat destruction by pigs
  • Predation by cats, dogs, foxes and feral pigs
  • Demographic and genetic threats.

Northern Tablelands Local Land Services

Project title Turtles Forever: Securing the NSW population of Bell's Turtle
Grant $985,191
Consortium contribution $1,162,740
Project partners

Northwest Local Land Services

NSW Office of Environment and heritage

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

Queensland Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing

Chessman Ecology

Northwest Ecological Services

Redleaf environmental

Canines for Conservation

University of New England

Northern Tablelands LLS Aboriginal Reference Advisory Group

NSW Department of Primary Industries

Target species

Bell's Turtle (Elseya belli) (Myuchelys belli)

Number of toolbox actions implemented

11 of 11

Project description

The project aims to secure the entire population of Bell's turtle (also known as the Western Saw-shelled turtle, Myuchelys bellii). This unique short-necked freshwater turtle is restricted to upland streams in the Namoi, Gwydir and Border River catchments. This project brings together a consortium of partners with expertise in land-management, turtle conservation and research, to manage, protect and monitor key sites in each of the four main Bell's turtle populations in NSW.

The project seeks to secure turtle populations at these sites by providing incentive funding to land managers to protect and restore streamside habitats, to eliminate trampling and erosion caused by livestock, and to manage and suppress feral predators – foxes and pigs, especially during the turtle egg-laying season. Although the focus of the project is Bell's Turtle, other threatened animal and fish species will also benefit from the habitat restoration and protection works and the feral predator abatement programs included in this project.

In addition, the project will involve the following activities:

  • Stewardship payments to encourage and reward landholders that actively manage riparian habitat and that can demonstrate successful Bell's turtle breeding on their properties.
  • Deploy sniffer dogs to detect Bell's turtle nests so that the eggs can be protected from foxes using exclusion cages in-situ, or incubated ex-situ before releasing the hatchling turtles.
  • Design and application of a rigorous research and monitoring program to assess population health, recruitment, age-structure and threats.
  • Develop biosecurity protocols and a contingency plan of response to manage any potential outbreak of disease like the one that has impacted on the related Bellinger River turtle Myuchelys georgesi.

The outcomes of the Turtles Forever project will directly inform the development and implementation of management programs that will ensure the long term viability Bells turtle populations in the wild for the next century and beyond.

Main threats to the species

  • Predation on eggs by foxes and feral pigs.
  • Pollution and sedimentation of river habitat.
  • Trampling and damage to river banks and riverside vegetation by grazing stock is a common occurrence throughout the species range.
  • Changes to natural stream flows through removal of water for irrigation, and from the effects of droughts and flooding.
  • Potential transference of the viral disease that has killed large numbers of Myuchelys georgesi in the Bellinger River.
  • Potential competitive displacement and/or hybridisation by the Macquarie turtle (Emydura macquarii) particularly in the upper Gwydir river system following the recent incursion of a breeding population in Lake Copeton.

South East Local Land Services

Project title Save our Scarlet Robin
Grant $989,997
Consortium contribution $1,281,800
Project partners

Office of Environment & Heritage

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Kosciuszko 2 Coast (K2C)

Molonglo Catchment Group

Upper Shoalhaven Landcare Council
Target species
  1. Scarlet Robin (Petroica boodang)
  2. Hooded Robin (Melanodry cucullata)
  3. Diamond Firetail (Stangonopleura guttata)
  4. Gang Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum)
  5. Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami)
  6. Flame Robin (Petroica phonicea)
  7. Speckled Warbler (Chthonocola sagittata)
  8. Brown Tree Creeper (Climacteris picumnus victoriae)

Number of toolbox actions implemented

  1. 10 of 12
  2. 6 of 8
  3. 6 of 6
  4. 2 of 4
  5. 3 of 7
  6. 10 of 12
  7. 8 of 9
  8. 8 of 10

Project description

Across the South East Highlands Bioregion a significant amount of woodland habitat is present within private land holdings. The protection and enhancement of high quality habitat for woodland birds is therefore dependent on the decisions of a large range of individual landholders.

This project will target areas of land within the South East Highlands Bioregion with the aim of increasing landholder awareness of, and action towards, the protection, rehabilitation and enhancement of suitable woodland foraging and breeding habitat, actively managing these areas to reduce threats affecting the Scarlet Robin. The Scarlet Robin is a Landscape managed species listed under the SOS program. It was selected as the talismanic lead species of the project due to its striking colouration and being highly identifiable within the landscape and therefore, increases the likelihood of improving landholder awareness of and connection to this species and other woodland species.

A range of associated woodland birds including Flame Robin, Hooded Robin, Diamond Firetail, Speckled Warbler, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Brown Tree Creeper and Glossy Black Cockatoo will also be targeted for direct conservation action under the project.

The project will incorporate community education and awareness-raising initiatives, incentives for habitat protection and threat mitigation, expansion and enhancement of suitable foraging and breeding habitat and species monitoring activities within four discrete areas across the Southern Tablelands and the Monaro.

A critical component of project will involve harnessing collaborative effort from a range of groups including local and regional community groups and government agencies working together to secure and monitor long term positive impact.

Main threats to the species

  • Historical habitat clearing and degradation
  • Habitat modification due to over grazing
  • Reduction in structural complexity of habitat
  • Reduction of native groundcover
  • Reduction in the size of existing remnants
  • Predation by the Pied Currawong
  • Lack of awareness of the plight of the Scarlet Robin and its habitat needs.
Page last updated: 21 July 2016