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$600,000 funding boost for threatened orchids

Almost $600,000 has been provided to Murray Local Land Services (LLS) through the NSW Environmental Trust's Saving our Species Partnership Grants Program, to undertake on-ground work for three endangered orchid species.

Murray LLS will work with major partners, including the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Australian Network for Plant Conservation, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Crown Lands, and Forestry Corporation of NSW to conserve the Sandhill Spider Orchid, Crimson Spider Orchid, and Oaklands Diuris.

Photo by Matt Cameron: The Sandhill Spider Orchid (Caladenia arenaria)

All three orchids are listed as endangered under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act

"We've been working with communities like Oaklands and Urana, and partners such as the Office of Environment and Heritage for several years to improve conditions for these three orchid species " said Murray LLS Project Officer, Dr Helen Waudby. "It's fantastic that thanks to this funding we'll be able to take our orchid work to the next level, align the efforts of major partners and community groups, and ensure that these species are secure in the wild in 100 years" she said.

The project will ensure that 15 priority populations of these three orchid species are protected into the future. "The Wild Orchids project fits perfectly within Murray LLS' regional goal of healthy, diverse, and connected natural environments" said Dr Waudby.

"A major threat faced by these orchids is the small size of the remaining populations, making them vulnerable to extinction from chance events" said Matt Cameron, who leads OEH's South West Region Ecosystem and Threatened Species Team.  "Recently developed propagation techniques will allow us to increase the size of existing populations as well as establish new populations, which will reduce the risk of extinction" he said.  

Other key activities include installation of fencing and other infrastructure, identification of orchid pollinators, and weed management.

The grants program will help the Saving our Species Program achieve its objective of maximising the number of threatened species that can be secured in the wild in NSW for 100 years.

Project Officer Helen Waudby can be contacted for further information via 02 6051 2222 or helen.waudby@lls.nsw.gov.au.

More information

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Helen Waudby, Murray Local Land Services, p: 02 6051 2222, e: helen.waudby@lls.nsw.gov.au.

Matt Cameron, Office of Environment and Heritage, p: 02 6022 0605.