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Growing Connections

The Growing Connections project, supported by the Australian Government, ran from 2012-2017 with the aim of connecting and improving habitat corridors in the Western Port Biosphere Reserve and creating a biodiverse and resilient Western Port Biosphere.

NEW!  An interactive storyboard has been produced highlighting the achievements of the Growing Connections Project: view the storyboard.  ​You can also view a PDF of the Growing Connections Project Report 2012-2017.

The Biosphere and over 25 partners (community groups, councils, business and government agencies) worked together to identify disconnected habitat and improvi overall biodiversity health by improving the condition and connectivity of habitat.

Biodiversity Plan

In addition to delivering on-ground works such as revegetation, protection of remnant vegetation, pest control, and species monitoring, Growing Connections developed an innovative Biodiversity Plan:

Interactive Storyboards

Drawing on scientific and community knowledge, significant work has been undertaken to produce maps outlining the areas of Biodiversity Significance across the landscape where scientific evidence and community knowledge combine. We have three maps developed in partnership with CRCSI which show changes to vegetation over time; the extent and zones of the Western Port Biosphere Reserve; and the work of our camera-trapping program.  This mapping will be updated periodically to include the latest data.  

The Growing Connections project will deliver key strategic documents for the Biosphere, providing a single vision for the protection and enhancement of biodiversity into the future.

Predator Control 

View our Predator Control Strategy (PDF) and download our Cat Facts and Fox Facts posters

Annual Biodiversity Forum

Project Outcomes

  • Expanded cooperative strategic management
  • Enhanced quality of existing biodiversity reserves
  • Clear statements of carbon sequestration
  • Cooperation across the biosphere’s entire population, supporting local government and government agencies to improve the health of landscapes and integration of budgetary allocations where appropriate
  • Develop a Biodiversity Plan for the Biosphere
  • Support for  Ramsar nomination – member of working group looking into Tootgarook Swamp
  • Improve landscape function through targeted revegetation
  • A rigorous monitoring program of not only the project delivery but of the health of biodiversity across the Biosphere
  • Application of innovative technologies, including carbon capture measurements and a biosphere-wide GIS environment
  • Appropriate governance and adaptive management applied throughout the delivery of the project

Achievements since 2012

  • 145 hectares of revegetation
  • 1,159 hectares of remnant vegetation and restoration
  • Planted well in excess of 100,000 plants
  • 65 motion sensing camers deployed, 2,000,000 photos collected, and 187,997 photos of animals collected and identified
  • Pest control management in excess of 2, 726 hectares (combined works)
  • Developed a Predator Control Strategy
  • Developed an innovative Biodiversity Plan
  • Held annual Biodiversity Forum since 2015
  • Fostered key partnerships to achieve great outcomes for biodiversity

Project Implementation Committee

Ian Mansergh, Chair
Chris Chambers, Western Port Biosphere
John Hick, DELWP
Bill Mallinson, Parks Victoria
Robert Jones, Cardinia Shire Council
Simon King, City of Casey
Simon Thorning, Mornington Peninsula Shire
Jo McCoy, Western Port Biosphere
Gidja Walker, Community representative
Clare Warren, Frankston City Council
Diana Whittington, Bass Coast

Funding: $2,267,100  In kind: $1,662,000
Timeframe: 6 year project delivered in 5 calendar years
Contact: Cecelia Witton ph. 03 5979 2167, email cecelia@biosphere.org.au
Latest information: Connector Newsletter

Download the Growing Connections brochure