Victorian wetlands restored in bid to boost native habitats

Posted 28 June 2016

Black SwansA former wetland in north-central Victoria will be restored in a bid to encourage the return of threatened species.

The State Government has launched the Murray Family Conservation Reserve at Long Swamp, which will be owned and managed for conservation by Trust for Nature.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said it was an important step in restoring the Moolort Plains wetland chain.

“The permanent protection of this site will strengthen essential corridors for species’ movement between patches of habitat, enhancing natural biodiversity,” she said.

“The long-term support for this project has been immense and its conservation is a great example of what can be achieved when government, not-for-profits and the community come together with a vision to protect one of Victoria’s special places.”

The new reserve is a deep freshwater marsh that stretches across 200 hectares of the Moolort Plains, north-west of Melbourne.

The reserve is at the heart of the Moolort wetlands complex, which includes 50 wetlands across 1000 hectares.

Before it was drained in 1965, the swamp provided a habitat for native fauna, including the nationally endangered Australasian Bittern, the nationally vulnerable Australian Painted Snipe, the vulnerable Brolga and the nationally vulnerable Growling Grass Frog.

The purchase of the wetland and restoration of natural hydrology has been made possible through a combination of private donations, Victorian Government funding and local community support.