Our Wild Places program conserves, restores, rehabilitates and manages land using a range of conservation tools to improve ecosystem function. We own and manage land and support other land managers, providing access for people to enjoy and appreciate nature.
Right now, over 33% of Australia’s 85 unique bioregions are facing threats, with 46 ecological communities also listed as threatened. To be resilient to the pressures facing them, protected area networks need to be large, and they need to be interconnected. The larger they are, the greater the chance they will have to absorb these pressures. Climate change is already re-shaping the distribution of plants and animals across the landscape, and larger towns and cities are demanding more of open spaces. Animals and plants alike need places to move to respond to these pressures, but those places need to be connected across the landscape to enable them to get there. In many ways, our Wild Places program is a form of ‘conservation infrastructure’ – laying strong, fundamental foundations of connectivity, upon which future conservation efforts can build.
Across Australia, over 500 currently threatened species require habitat to be better protected and restored if they are to cope with challenges of climate change, feral animals, disease and ecosystem disruption. Restoring habitat is just one of the national actions required to make an appreciable difference to our threatened species, and we are committed to helping achieve that target. By identifying refugia (large areas in good ecological condition) across the country, we are creating a backbone for future conservation work, as well as conserving these places for themselves from the outset.
Currently Conservation Volunteers works on five Wild Places properties in two states and is expanding this footprint annually.
The W. James Whyte Island Reserve
The W. James Whyte Island Reserve – also known as “The Island” – is a large property of over 200 hectares and was donated to Conservation Volunteers in 2006 by W. James Whyte. It is situated near Bacchus Marsh, approximately 50 kms west of Melbourne. While the property is adjacent to Werribee Gorge State Park, The Island is significantly degraded and our focus is to see it restored to environmental health.
Little Desert Nature Lodge
The Little Desert Flora & Fauna Foundation was established in 2000. Its aim is to promote an appreciation of the Little Desert, situated in the Wimmera Region of Western Victoria. The Foundation also promotes environmental research into the flora and fauna of the region, including the ongoing research into endangered Malleefowl, from our base at the Little Desert Nature Lodge.
The Salvana Conservation Reserve
The Salvana Conservation Reserve is adjacent to the Little Desert National Park and close to the Little Desert Nature Lodge, owned by CVA. Acquiring this land will enable us to create a wildlife corridor linking the West and Central blocks of the Little Desert National Park to create an important biodiversity corridor.
Friends of Parks, Queensland
Conservation Volunteers Australia, in partnership with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, manage the Friends of Parks program which allows volunteers to experience Queensland’s amazing national parks while participating in a range of conservation projects.