Land for Wildlife celebrates its 20 year anniversary
  • Friday 14 September 2018

The Sunshine Coast is well-known as the home of high profile wildlife champions, but the region is also home to a small army of dedicated, passionate private landholders who have steadily worked to restore their properties and roll out the welcome mat for our native species.  

Tomorrow Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson will join local landholders and nature lovers to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sunshine Coast’s most successful conservation program, Land for Wildlife.

The event will bring members from across the region together, to share their experiences and continue their education on how to help protect and enhance our local environment. The event’s MC Jenny Brice last year became the 1000th landholder to join the program on the Sunshine Coast.

Ms Brice said she and her partner Greg L’Estrange had been working with Landcare volunteers and officers to transform the former farming property in Eumundi to a natural haven.

“Land for Wildlife really helped us gain an education on how best to manage the property for the benefit of birds and wildlife in the area,” Ms Brice said.

“We planted koala trees, and reduced the amount of pesticides we used and, before long, native grasses started coming back.

“Now you wake up every morning and hear the birds singing. It’s just amazing.”

Ms Brice and Mr L’Estrange were drawn to the Land for Wildlife program after their neighbours became involved with the program.

“We really started to think about how to create a wildlife corridor with some of our neighbours and this seemed like a great way to do it,” Ms Brice said. 

Today 4,421 landholder properties are actively engaged in the program in South East Queensland, contributing 75,164ha of land towards conservation outcomes.Mayor Mark Jamieson acknowledged and applauded the efforts of past and present Land for Wildlife members on the Sunshine Coast who had built a significant network over the last 20 years.

“I’m proud to say that the Sunshine Coast membership is the largest in the program, with more than 1000 landholders collectively protecting and restoring 8,272 ha of habitat across the region,” Mayor Jamieson said.

 “Council officers and volunteers work alongside local landholders to not only improve the biodiversity of their own backyards, but collectively, they protect large areas of habitat for our region into the future.

“Approximately 60 per cent of the bushland in the Sunshine Coast Local Government Area is in private ownership, so guiding and supporting the conservation goals of private landholders is very important to our community.
 “Council also gives financial assistance to landholders with very high quality habitat on their properties, who wish to protect their land in perpetuity, regardless of change of ownership.
“Through this program, council has secured 75 voluntary conservation agreements with landholders on the Sunshine Coast, which collectively protects 1,158 ha of high value wildlife habitat.
“This program represents an incredible contribution and commitment to our natural environment, and builds on the work council does in other areas such as land acquisitions to create habitat corridors and provide homes for the diverse array of wildlife and birdlife here on the Sunshine Coast.”