Partnerships protect the lifeblood of the Wimmera
Tuesday 14 December, 2021
Caring for Country isn’t just about looking after areas that are already protected. In northwest Victoria, patches of protected areas are intertwined with agricultural land, connected by rivers and creeks flowing like veins across the landscape.
Of particular importance is Barringgi Gadyin (the Wimmera River) - the lifeblood flowing through and linking the landscape together.
The river and its corridor of vegetation provide habitat for threatened animals, plants and plant communities, and are a haven for birdlife.
Among the native species that live and travel here are the endangered Bush Stone-Curlew and Swift Parrot, and critically endangered Regent Honeyeater.
All native species rely on healthy habitat to survive. However, animals and plants don’t care for human land boundaries.
In order to help native species and improve biodiversity along the Wimmera River, people and organisations need to work together across public and private land.
Over the past four years, private landowners, Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Council (BGLC), Hindmarsh Landcare Network, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Parks Victoria have been working together to deliver the Wimmera River Biolink Restoration Project.
Sharing knowledge and building on each other’s strengths, this group of partners has delivered 200 hectares of revegetation, 98,000 hectares of weed control, 200 hectares of fencing and 8,800 hectares of rabbit control since beginning this project in 2018.
These improvements have been made across the landscape between Little Desert National Park and Wyperfeld/ Big Desert Natural Areas.
From north of Dimboola to west of Horsham (Bogambilor), from public land along the Outlet Creek (Kromelak) at Lake Albacutya (Ngalpakatia/Ngelpagutya) to private land along the Wimmera River, the landscape has been restored and protected, improving the health of the Wimmera River Biolink.
The biolink provides a corridor (or link) for biodiversity to safely move across the landscape to access more food, water and habitat, and maintain genetic diversity in their populations.
This project is supported by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and contributes to the delivery of the Parks Victoria Wimmera Conservation Action Plan (2018) and BGLC’s Country Plan, ‘Growing what is Good’ (2017).
The Wimmera Park Landscape is the spiritual heart of the traditional lands of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia and Jupagulk peoples. They have been caring for their Country for tens of thousands of years, and this will continue through BGLC’s ongoing collaborative partnership with Parks Victoria.