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Corangamite Case Study

Big results for small mammals

Location

The Wild Otways Initiative focuses on projects being undertaken in the areas from Jan Juc/ Bells Beach to Peterborough, the Great Otway National Park, and hinterlands.

Outputs

  • 400 sites monitored for threatened species, Swamp antechinus, Long-nosed potoroo, Southern brown bandicoot, Smoky mouse, New-holland mouse, White footed dunnart and Broad tooth rat.
  • Mapping of abundance and distribution of small mammals in the Otways.
  • Control chart reporting on threatened species status for management implementation.
  • Engagement with land managers across the region to distribute results and discuss species management in the future.

Investment

$6M investment by the Australian Government, funded until 2023.

Partners

Research and delivery partners include Conservation Ecology Centre, Barbara Wilson Pty Ltd, Zoos Victoria, Melbourne and Deakin universities, Parks Victoria, DELWP, private landholders, wild game harvesters, Landcare networks, community members and groups.

Regional strategies

Corangamite Regional Catchment Strategy, Protecting Victoria’s Environment Biodiversity 20-37

In the beautiful forests and mountains of the Otways, a team effort is underway to protect special threatened species like Swamp Antechinus, Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-Nosed Potoroo. 

The Wild Otways Initiative focuses on achieving on ground outcomes to improve the protection and management of threatened species. Five major sub-projects will address the conservation of small mammals, the management of feral animals, control of dieback disease and options for rewilding. 

In addition to these five projects, the initiative includes a $1 million Community Environment Grants Program. This program will deliver 33 community driven projects that support the Wild Otways objectives to protect and enhance habitat values and manage threats to support the recovery of EPBC listed fauna in the Otways. 

The research component of the project will contribute to land management agencies’ planning and operating procedures. Knowledge in feral animal control and monitoring, hygiene protocols and treatment methods against dieback disease will be shared and skills training delivered to community members, private landholders and agency staff. 

A framework for the integrated assessment of data collected will also be set up. This includes a web portal to provide access to information on outcomes from each of the sub-projects and this will be maintained as an ongoing legacy of the initiative. Linkages between the sub-projects will ensure landscape outcomes are achieved for conservation. 

This approach also ensures Great Otway National Park and Otway Forest Park land managers can maintain the Wild Otways legacy into the future. 

The Small Mammal Conservation project will be delivered under the Wild Otways Initiative 

Managed by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, the Australian Government’s Wild Otways. The initiative is a $6 million collaborative research and land management program. 

Female Swamp Antechinus, by Dr Barbara Wilson.

Female Swamp Antechinus, by Dr Barbara Wilson.