Creating habitat for threatened species

Threatened Species Day, on Monday 7 September, is a great opportunity to reflect on how much habitat has been created and protected for threatened species across the Gippsland Lakes catchment.

Greening Australia, project manager, Martin Potts, said the Gippsland Lakes catchment was home to many important species.

“Through funding from the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee, I’ve been working with West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority and awesome landowners on the Avon River to help create new habitat for frogs.”

The fringing wetlands of the Gippsland Lakes project aims to create new freshwater habitat.

“Over the previous months we’ve found these wetlands are now home to breeding Green and Golden Bell Frogs and the Growling Grass frog,” continued Marty.

“You can hear lots of frog calls around now, thanks to the recent wet weather. If you’re interested in helping the scientists out, you can record frog calls using the FrogID app.

“This information will go to a central database held by the Australian Museum and if they get recordings of calls of threatened or vulnerable species, they will notify local natural resource management staff.

“We can then do more surveys and prioritise restoring wetland sites for these little guys.”

The Gippsland Lakes is also home to one of two known resident populations of Burrunan dolphin. They are listed as ‘endangered’ under Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act.

Speaking earlier this year, Dr Kate Robb from the Marine Mammal Foundation, said the Gippsland Lakes were such a unique environment.

“It’s amazing that what should be a purely oceanic marine species has chosen to call the Gippsland Lakes home,” said Dr Robb.

“Here in the lakes we only have between 48 and 98 dolphins. They are an apex predator and when we understand their health, we understand the health of other animals underneath them.”

National Threatened Species Day is commemorated in Australia on 7 September to raise awareness of plants and animals at risk of extinction.

The 7th of September is the anniversary of the death in captivity of the last known Tasmanian Tiger.

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world.

For more information about work happening around the Gippsland Lakes please visit Projects are funded by the Victorian State Government for the health of the Gippsland Lakes.