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Growing Connections

The Growing Connections project runs from 2012-2017 with support from the Australian Government and aims to connect and improve habitat corridors within the Western Port Biosphere Reserve and to create a biodiverse and resilient Western Port Biosphere.

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

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

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

  • 116 hectares of revegetation
  • 887 hectares of remnant vegetation
  • Planted well in excess of 100,000 plants
  • Collated and analysed over 2,000,000 photos of animals
  • Pest control management in excess of 350ha
  • Developed a Predator Control Strategy
  • Developed an innovative Biodiversity Plan
  • 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: Chris Chambers, Project Coordinator “Growing Connections”, c/o Western Port Biosphere, ph. 03 5979 2167, email chris@biosphere.org.au
Latest information: Connector Newsletter

Download the Growing Connections brochure