Pests of the west campaign

Picture Grow West

By Esther Lauaki

Thirty thousand hectares of public and private land between the Lerderderg State Park, Werribee Gorge State Park and the Brisbane Ranges is the target of a large-scale pest plant and animal control project.

The three-year project is led by the Grow West program and aims to protect and enhance threatened plants and animals in the state’s west by creating a nature corridor between the reserves.

Parks Victoria area chief ranger Stuart Lardner said 10,000 hectares in the Lerderderg State Park had been surveyed for feral goats, with 64 controlled.

Mr Lardner said the three parks were home to plant and animal species of state significance.

“This important conservation program is helping protect these special places from the potential serious impact of invasive and feral species,” he said.

Other projects completed included 600 hectares of the Werribee Gorge State Park and the Long Forest conservation area surveyed and treated for serrated tussock with another 5600 hectares of the Brisbane Ranges National Park surveyed for feral cats.

Melbourne’s western region is home to the swift parrot, brush-tailed phascogale, growling grass frog, diamond firetail, Bacchus Marsh varnish wattle, clover glycine and velvet daisy bush. Mr Lardner said the projects would provide a life-saving boost to these iconic species.