Transport for NSW, John Holland Rail, The Hunter Great Eastern Ranges Partnership and Taronga Zoo have partnered for a second year to run their highly successful Regent Honeyeater Project along a disused rail corridor in the Upper Hunter. Each partner offers a crucial ingredient to a conservation recipe, combined to help halt the decline of the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater and many other woodland animals.
The Hunter Great Eastern Ranges Partnership offers extensive knowledge in connectivity conservation, which seeks to connect people and nature by restoring and revegetating patches of private land that create ‘stepping stones’ to the protected, public reserve system. Work undertaken by the partnership across the Hunter has helped fund, deliver and align many projects with private landowners with ecological and agriculture benefits.
Taronga Zoo has a long-standing and well-respected conservation ethic, which not only educates the community about animals through captive enclosures but also undertakes important recovery projects for species such as that of the Regent Honeyeater, involving reproduction and eventual release into the wild. This year Taronga will resale a record 100 Regent Honeyeaters into the wild.
Transport for NSW owns many kilometres of used and disused rail corridors within NSW. In this project, they offer the corporate funding and on ground space to create unique restoration sites for the Regent Honeyeater along a disused rail corridor stretching from Merriwa to Sandy Hollow.
As part of this year’s project the partners have delivered school workshops and a planting day for students from Sandy Hollow, Denman and Martindale Public Schools. Workshop activities included; school nature surveys, close encounters with Australian native animals during a visit by the Taronga Zoo-mobile, plant propagation and school ground habitat assessments.
Workshop activities were followed by a tree-planting day at a restoration site along the disused rail corridor from Merriwa to Sandy Hollow. “Tree planting along the disused rail corridor will involve the community in habitat protection for locally occurring, threatened woodland species such as the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater” said Amber Grant, Environmental Manager for John Holland Rail.
The workshop and planting day aims to develop a sense of stewardship among children for the protection of their local environment, a message that can then be communicated back to their families and the wider community.
Media Contact: Daniel Lumby, Environment Coordinator – John Holland, Country Regional Network, M: 0418 309 338
Link to photos: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/WfRRo