The extent and condition of ACT woodlands has improved over the past decade, a review released today by Minister for the Environment, Simon Corbell, has revealed.
“A recent review of the ACT Lowland Woodland Conservation Strategy found that the amount of woodland under – or identified for – conservation management has increased and that major woodland restoration is happening,” Mr Corbell said.
“Since 2004, about 2200 hectares of lowland woodland have been added to the reserve network or have been proposed as reserves.
“Urban development has been largely concentrated away from lowland woodland vegetation, while some woodland areas of high conservation significance that had been previously identified for future urban use have been added to the reserve network.”
Woodlands around Australia were largely destroyed and damaged by clearing and invasion by weeds and pest animals following European settlement, but the ACT has some of the biggest, best connected and most botanically diverse woodlands in Australia.
“It’s really important we manage these woodlands, which are home to many species, provide shelter for animals, store carbon, protect water quality and provide recreation opportunities for the public,” Mr Corbell said.
“Our woodland restoration program will consolidate and connect 60,000 hectares of box-gum grassy woodland landscape, including the creation of corridors of native vegetation to help wildlife move between larger stands of woodland vegetation, improving their survival rates.
“We have widespread support and assistance for this from the Australian Government, Greening Australia and other organisations, researchers, landholders, Aboriginal and urban communities.
“Volunteer groups are playing a major role and researchers are providing valuable information to help restore and rehabilitate our woodlands and protect individual species such as our threatened orchids and woodland birds.”