The MSA program is one of Victoria’s largest urban conservation programs, set to secure more than 20,000 hectares of much needed habitat for some of our rarest plants, animals and ecosystems.
Creating these conservation areas and reserves will protect nature, preserve cultural heritage, landscape and values and support the growth of healthy communities living next door to nature.
Take a look at some of our highlights.
Western Grassland Reserve update
So far, we've purchased around 20% of the Western Grassland Reserve. This means more than 2,691 hectares of threatened grasslands and wetlands are permanently protected. This land is currently being restored and managed by Parks Victoria. And, as we continue to raise revenue from the MSA Levy, we will purchase more land.
Managing weeds + other threats
Weeds are one of the most insidious threats to fragile grassland ecosystems. In the Western Grassland Reserve, weeds - like the serrated tussock - are a serious issue. The serrated tussock is considered to be one of the most damaging weeds in Australia because of its ability to quickly spread and invade pastures and grasslands.
Controlling and managing weeds is a complex task, with each area requiring different methods of removal. To do this, we work with various organisations, local councils and other government agencies to manage threats to native plants, animals and ecosystems.
Our delivery partner, Wyndham City Council, has supported vegetation surveys and weed control on more than 6,000 hectares of private land. A range of actions to prevent biodiversity decline of 1,000 hectares of private land has been undertaken, which is supported by our research partner Arthur Rylah Institute.
Securing conservation areas
The growling grass frog, golden sun moth and striped legless lizard are just some of the threatened species to be permanently protected in 36 conservation areas across 4,000 hectares around Melbourne. So far, we have secured land in 16 conservation areas. This includes Banda Bail, in Melbourne’s north, which is managed by Hume City Council and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.
Protecting rare woodland
Through our partnership with Trust for Nature and Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, we are creating the 1,200-hectare Grassy Eucalypt Woodland protected area in Melbourne’s north west. Trust for Nature leads the landowner engagement and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung is surveying properties to identify priorities.
Leaping into new habitat
Habitat loss, a deadly fungus and predatory fish are some of the reasons growling grass frog numbers have dropped by around 50%, according to our recent monitoring study of nearly 150 sites in Merri Creek and Darebin Creek.
Planning is progressing for a cluster of 10 wetlands in the Merri Creek conservation area near Donnybrook, which will be delivered by Melbourne Water.
Getting on the bandi-wagon
We’re proud to partner with Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne to support and encourage local councils, developers and communities to create bandicoot-friendly suburbs in the south-east. The Southern Brown Bandicoot program helps wildlife live side-by-side with us, and residents to connect with and value nature. Work has begun on establishing habitat corridors to help bandicoots safely navigate through residential areas.
We are also helping to improve scientific understanding of the bandicoot by contributing to the development of a state-wide genetic rescue strategy to help address the problems associated with the fragmented distribution of Victoria’s populations. In addition, a Population Viability Analysis model is under development to identify knowledge gaps for future research.
Investment in conservation
We’ve spent more than $132.515 million on land acquisition. This includes $110.434 million on land purchases and $22.081 million on land compensation payments. We've also spent $56.785 million on land management, monitoring, research and other conservation actions (as of November 2023).
Page last updated: 22/11/23