Connectivity conservation encourages landholders, industry groups, Traditional Owners, Governments, non-government organisations and others to collaborate in delivering their respective skills and programs. The combined effort serves to create ‘corridors of effort’ in priority areas, which in turn combine to influence connectivity on a wider scale.
The management needs and priorities within each of the GER’s priority landscapes are as varied as the landscapes themselves. The threats to species and habitat connectivity vary along the length of the GER. They range from peri-urban sub-division of properties and infrastructure development in landscapes such as the Southern Highlands and Hunter Valley, fragmentation and loss of natural processes in Central Victoria, pressures from climate change in the alpine areas of Kosciuszko2Coast and Slopes to Summit, and increasing competition and predation by introduced species such as cane toad, deer, fox and cats across many landscapes.
Regional conservation planning is used by GER partners to work out which pressures are most influential in each landscape, how these should be best addressed, who is able to be involved and in what order the problems should be tackled.
The process of planning allows regional partners to more fully assess how their existing projects and skills might work alongside others in the region to generate the most effective outcomes in the most important places.
Countless projects have been developed by GER partners working together along the length of the GER corridor to develop projects that deliver a diversity of outcomes including:
- Citizen Science to build awareness of connectivity conservation issues in the local community;
- community education and training workshops to build local ‘communities of practice’ with the skills and access to information needed to make a meaningful contribution to improving habitat and connectivity in their area;
- protection of important habitat remnants which form the foundation for effectively managed local corridors;
- restoration of lost linkages, through active replanting in cleared areas and management of stock grazing to encourage natural regeneration of local species; and
- management of weeds and feral animals that compete with and displace native plants and animals.
GER partners periodically review conservation plans developed for each landscape, to ensure each maintains an up-to-date situation analysis which identifies any potential adverse impacts of increasing connectivity, and establishes an appropriate threat surveillance program to detect emergent problems and direct resourcing accordingly.