Reef Island and Bass River Mouth Nature Conservation Reserve Terrestrial Herbivore Management

Achieving biodiversity benefits in priority locations

Reef Island and Bass River Mouth Nature Conservation Reserve supports terrestrial components of the Westernport Bay RAMSAR site and important habitat for many threatened and migratory species. This project will deliver strategic implementation of lethal rabbit and fencing to protect important native vegetation communities including delicate saltmarsh and mangroves.

This project has utilised Strategic Management Prospects (SMP) modelling to consider latest science and cost-benefit effectiveness aiming to maximise and enhance biodiversity benefits of the project within the landscape. Reef Island and Bass River Mouth NCR is a priority location for controlling pest herbivores under Protecting Victoria’s Environment- Biodiversity 2037 (Bio2037), with a cost-benefit ranking in the top 20% for action (rabbit & deer) across the whole state.

This project has been identified as a high priority under the Western Port and South-East Melbourne Conservation Action Plan.

Left: Reef Island and Bass River Mouth NCR showing location of the Reserves. Right: Priority locations for rabbit control (pink top 20%).

Themes and Local Areas

Primary Theme:Native Vegetation
Other Themes:Waterways, Native Animals, Coasts
Primary Local Area:Bass Coast, South Gippsland & islands
Other Local Areas:Western Port
Project location:Priority locations of Reef Island and Bass River Mouth Nature Conservation Reserve
Scale of the project:Local
New or continuing work:Continuing/building on previous work

Project partners

Lead organisation:Parks Victoria
Key partners:Melbourne Water, Bass Coast Landcare Network
Registered Aboriginal Party/s relevant to the project or its area:Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation

Investment opportunities

Opportunities for investors within this project start from:$$ (Tens of thousands of dollars)
Estimated scale of investment for full project implementation:$$ (Tens of thousands of dollars)
Estimated timeframe for full project implementation:2-10 years

Contribution toward targets

Primary Regional Catchment Strategy target:Reef Island and Bass River Mouth NCR is around 297 hectares and has the ability to contribute to the RCS target for 120,000 hectares of sustained pest herbivore control in priority locations from 2017-2037.
Relevant Biodiversity 2037 goal:Undertake weed or pest herbivore control to maintain and enhance vegetation quality in priority areas
Relevant National Landcare Program priority:Ramsar – Western Port Ramsar site – Ecological character maintained or improved

Priority species – Eastern Curlew, Orange-bellied Parrot and/or Hooded Plover – Trajectory improved

More information

Western Port and South-east Melbourne Conservation Action Plan