Wilsons Prom Sanctuary
Through the Prom Sanctuary project, Wilsons Promontory National Park will become a 50,000 hectare climate change safe haven, where Victoria’s rich wildlife and habitats are freed from the pressures of introduced predators and pests.
An exclusion fence designed to prevent introduced animals from entering Wilsons Promontory National Park, in addition to conservation programs - including large scale invasive species control, large-scale habitat restoration and threatened species recovery programs - will transform the much-loved national park into Victoria’s largest conservation sanctuary where nature is cared for and native animals and plants thrive.
Parks Victoria has been supported through major funding from the Victorian Government and additional support of $1 million from the Australian Government's Environment Restoration Fund - Safe Havens for Threatened Species program. We will be working with Traditional Owners, conservation and research organisations, and the community through all stages of the program.
The Prom Sanctuary project is helping to deliver on government strategies to protect nature, including Protecting Victoria's Environment - Biodiversity 2037 and the Australian Government's Threatened Species Strategy 2021-2031.
Regardless of whether you call them pest species or feral animals, introduced species such as deer, rabbits, foxes and feral cats are all major threats to nature. Read about the damage they cause - Feral animals.
To establish the Wilsons Promontory Sanctuary, we must reduce or remove major threats to nature on a scale that makes a difference.
We are reducing grazing pressure on the incredible variety of native plants and plant communities, including some that are nationally threatened.
We are reducing the threat of predation for native species such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Long-nosed Potoroo, Ground Parrot, New Holland Mouse, Eastern Pygmy Possum and Hooded Plover.
To give nature the best chance of thriving, we are aiming to eradicate deer, rabbits, foxes and feral cats from Wilsons Prom.
All animal control programs are carried out under strict conditions, compliant with all relevant legislation, Codes of Practice and Standard Operating Procedures, designed to ensure safe, effective, and humane practices are implemented.
Caring for Country
For nature to be healthy, the landscape needs to contain a suitable mix of native plant species and communities. Invasive weeds and overabundant native plants including Coastal Tea Tree, Mirror Bush and Ox-eye Daisy transform landscapes, crowd out other plants and prevent a diverse mix of species.
The mix of different plant and animals species and their interactions is what we call 'biodiversity'.
To care for nature, we must increase biodiversity. Weed management is a huge part of this.
We are using best practice and adaptive management techniques to eradicate any new and emerging weeds wherever they occur and control existing weeds at sites of biodiversity significance.
We are using tools such as ecological burning, mulching, carefully controlled chemical and bioagent control to remove weeds.
By improving the biodiversity of the Prom's Coastal Grassy Woodlands, Riparian Wetlands and Coastal landscapes, breeding populations of resident shorebirds and the abundance of small mammals will be better protected in a changing climate.
Bringing species back from the brink
Being situated on the southernmost point of mainland Australia, Wilsons Prom is naturally sheltered from the dramatic impacts of climate change. With the added protection through the Prom Sanctuary project, it will become the perfect place for threatened species whose habitat in other parts of Victoria is suffering and may never be the same again.
As threats are removed from Wilsons Prom and it becomes a safer place for vulnerable native animals and plants, we are taking steps to reintroduce and translocate specially chosen rare and threatened native species.
This is not a decision being made lightly. Species translocations require careful planning, environmental restoration and protection, and ongoing monitoring to ensure that the species and their habitat will be safe and healthy.
Watch this space!
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