STAKEHOLDERS from across the Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Wingecarribee met in Kiama last week to discuss the protection of threatened flora and fauna species in the regions.
Organised by the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage (OEH), the Saving Our Species workshop allowed representatives from local governments, NSW government departments, land-care and community groups to come together to discuss preservation issues.
OEH Illawarra region senior team leader for ecosystems and threatened species James Dawson said the workshop was a valuable opportunity for for groups to provide updates on preservation activities they are undertaking.
‘‘Saving Our Species is the OEH’s new threatened species program, so this is a great way for people to take in what’s involved in that program and get an understanding of it,’’ Mr Dawson said.
‘‘The other thing it does is allow groups to show what’s being done and what needs to be done to protect threatened species in their areas and share ideas.
‘‘The NSW Environment Trust has a new round of grants available for to help with preservation, but they’re looking to fund consortiums, whether it be government group, NGOs or community groups, rather than individual organisations so this is a good chance for groups to network.’’
Mr Dawson said there is currently work being carried out to protect a number of threatened species in the Kiama area.
‘‘Near Jerrara Dam we have two plant species the Illawarra Ziera and the Illawarra Socketwood, in Foxground we have Johnson’s Spur and then in the Barren Grounds Nature reserve the long-nosed pottoroo, the ground parrot and the eastern bristle bird that are all classed as threatened.
‘‘When it comes to plants, they’re mainly threatened by land clearing, invasive species and grazing and fire schedules, while animals are threatened by habitat clearing, fox predation and becoming road kill and they’re all things we’re trying to address.’’