Carbon Landscapes is set to play a major role in what’s believed to be a world-first project creating a network of wildlife sanctuaries to protect Australia’s threatened animal species.
The recently launched SEASON (South-East Australia Sanctuary Operations Network) initiative is bringing together scientists, landholders, farmers and entrepreneurs throughout Victoria to establish 30 privately-owned and funded sanctuaries to save 30 species by the Year 2030.
Ushering in a groundbreaking era of conservation in Australia, the scheme will open up new opportunities for eco-tourism and carbon offsetting as well as regenerating large tracts of land to bolster biodiversity.
How we’re helping to make a difference
Carbon Landscapes is working closely with respected, environmental not-for-profit organisation Odonata which is coordinating the SEASON program, funded by World Wide Fund for Nature Australia.
Our role involves onboarding and mentoring landholders, with the concept having already attracted interest from owners of more than 70 parcels of land in Victoria alone.
Three of our own flagship properties- Stony Rises (pictured above) covering 400 hectares in Western Victoria, Telopea Downs covering over 800 hectares in the Mallee, and Bornes Hill covering 90 hectares in the Grampians, have all been nominated as potential sites, as work gets underway to identify the best locations across the state.
We are currently investigating how best to support endangered species such as the spotted-tail quoll, koala (pictured above), and long-nosed potoroo.
Teamwork is what will make SEASON so innovative.
A wide suite of skills is needed to run a successful wildlife sanctuary – from the science of repopulating the land with critical fauna to finding the right business model to make it sustainable.
With a network of professionals from different backgrounds on board, SEASON represents a new milestone in the battle to stop extinction of many of Australia’s native wildlife species.
That’s why we’re so keen to be involved and sharing some of our knowledge.
Carbon Landscapes’ founder Dr Steven Enticott – an accountant and business coach - will bring an entrepreneurial flair to SEASON. Acting as a business mentor over an initial six-month project, he will assess future sanctuary owners’ business models to help ensure financial viability.
His own family were pioneers in the field of conservation, having privately regenerated thousands of hectares on the Pirron Yallock Creek in the 1970s.
SEASON’s monthly sessions, as well as individual support, have been designed to teach landholders how to become expert sanctuary operators, covering everything from species planning to licences and pest control.
Among the key species being targeted by SEASON are the eastern Quoll; eastern barred bandicoot; southern brush-tailed rock wallaby; bush stone curlew; eastern bettong, and southern brown bandicoot.
Odonata’s Mt Rothwell sanctuary, the largest feral predator-free ecosystem in Victoria and only 50 kilometres from Melbourne, offers a model for what can be achieved in a relatively short space of time.
In just 11 years, Mt Rothwell has managed to boost populations of the eastern barred bandicoot – which at one stage hadn’t been seen in over 50 years - from approximately 40 animals to as many as 1500 right now.
The sanctuary is thought to support about 80 per cent of the animal’s population Australia-wide.
Similarly, Mt Rothwell has about 100 southern brush-tailed rock wallabies – whose wild population once hovered at half that number for about 40 years.
Preliminary scientific testing of our potential sanctuary sites to determine their suitability, including eDNA sampling for species presence, is already underway.
Carbon Landscapes is looking forward to playing its part in saving our natural heritage for the next generation. To find out more about what we’re doing, or to get in touch to see how you can help us tackle climate change and restore biodiversity, phone 1300 242 829 or email.