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Vulnerable species in Melton to be protected

The diamond firetail and other vulnerable bird and animal species living around Melton are reaping the benefits of an ongoing weed and pest eradication and revegetation project.

Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata Working with Western Water, the Pinkerton Landcare and Environment Group (PLEG) in 2011 opened a habitat corridor between Pinkerton Forest and Bush’s Paddock, known as the Pinkerton Link.

Now, the diamond firetail – a finch with a bright red bill and black wings with white spots – will get more of the habitat it needs, thanks to a recent $12,000 ‘threatened special protection initiative’ grant from the state government.

PLEG member Daryl Akers said Pinkerton Link was helping to solve the “habitat fragmentation” that native birds, animals and plants, including the diamond firetail, experienced with the spread of human populations.

“This grant will help us control weeds and pest species, and work on revegetation to provide habitat for this beautiful little bird,” Mr Akers said.

“This work will also benefit other species in the area, such as the brown treecreeper, jacky winter and southern whiteface.”

Western Water customer and community relations general manager Graham Holt said the Pinkerton Forest area was “critical for the protection of local flora and fauna species facing loss of habitat and other threats”.


Star Weekly, January 12, 2016