29 July, 2023
Nature refuges attract funds
ELEVEN nature refuges throughout the region will benefits from funding awarded by the State to help protect native species and habitats.
Since the release of Queensland’s Protected Area Strategy in October 2020, the State Government has allocated more than $3.5 million in grant funding through the Nature Refuge Landholder Grants program, supporting the delivery of 416 conservation projects on nature refuges.
In the latest round, 11 refuges in the region have received grants up to $25,000 to take on projects that involve weed and pest management, habitat restoration, erosion control, and the protection of important cultural sites.
Queensland now has the largest network of nature refuges – privately-owned protected areas - in Australia, covering some 4.6 million hectares.
Refuges that received grants were:
▪ Cloudland Nature Refuge (Jaggan) - $6000 to restore access to the nature refuge by re-gravelling the now deeply eroded wheel tracks.
▪ Cobbold Gorge Nature Refuge (Forsayth) - $25,000 to protect the fauna and ecosystems from heavy foot traffic along Cobbold Creek banks and at strategic points along the tracks of the tour, by building elevated walkways and a pontoon as a dedicated entry point for Stand-Up Paddle boarding tours.
▪ Dirrans End Nature Refuge (Tarzali) - $5000 to carry out two surveys through high-altitude cloud forest along the refuge to provide data on the critically endangered Lemuroid Ringtail Possum and other arboreal mammals.
▪ Donaghy's Corridor Nature Refuge (Atherton Tablelands) - $8636 to fund additional rock armouring on the main property access track as well as funding weed control activities on invasive woody weeds including strawberry guava, camphor laurel and night jasmine.
▪ Freemans Forest Nature Refuge (Lake Eacham) - $15,000 to construct a possum bridge over Lake Barrine Road next to the refuge to reduce the impact of this barrier on wildlife along the corridor.
▪ Galaji Nature Refuge (Topaz) - $12,111 to widen the vegetated corridor between Topaz Road and Wooroonooran National Parks, continue significant weed control, and repair a causeway to allow access to the western half of the refuge.
▪ Garriya Nature Refuge (Topaz) - $17,730 to replace the main access crossing (old bridge) to enable the quad and tractor to access the revegetation areas for weeding and infill planting.
▪ The Iggies' Nature Refuge (Atherton) - $8098 to establish fire breaks in areas that are prone to fires.
▪ Yourka Reserve Nature Refuge (Innot Hot Springs) - $25,000 to slow erosion on the reserve and restore landscape function, which will benefit the reserve's native fauna and flora.
▪ Nassers Nature Refuge (Atherton) - $3683 to purchase, install and monitor two wildlife trail cameras, and to eradicate weeds along the northern and north-eastern edge of the nature refuge to allow future planting of appropriate Mabi Forest edge-sealing plant species.