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New funds to help preserve rare bird

New incentives are now available to landholders to help preserve one of the world’s rarest and most critically endangered birds.

The plains-wanderer is the only surviving species in the family Pedionomidae, and the grasslands of the Riverina Plains, between Jerilderie, Hay and Griffith, are one the last areas in Australia where they are found.

Since 2017, Murray and Riverina Local Land Services have worked closely with local landholders on the Paddocks for Plains-Wanderers project, which aims to maintain suitable grassland that allows the plains-wanderer to survive.

Project Officer for Murray Local Land Services Claire Gannon said there was now a new incentive round available to enable more private landholders to participate in plains-wanderer conservation.

“This really is a rare bird – there is nothing else like it in the world,” she said.

“It’s estimated that around 300 of the remaining 1,000 surviving birds are found in these grasslands, so it’s important that we preserve this habitat so that the plains-wanderer can persist year-round under a range of environmental conditions.”

Last year, 14 landholders participated in the Paddocks for Plains-Wanderers incentive program and have committed to manage up to 6,300 hectares of plains-wanderer grassland habitat for the next 10 years.

The new round of incentives is available for pest and weed control, fencing, water points, saltbush plantations and stock management areas, as well as feeding infrastructure,  to assist landholders with livestock management and plains-wander conservation.

Ms Gannon encouraged interested landholders to contact the following local project officers to learn how to apply for incentives and get involved in the project.

This project is supported by Murray and Riverina Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program.

Media contact: Matt Lane, Communications, 02 6051 2252, mob 0427 459 755