Why Melbourne needs a Green Edge
Melbourne is expanding rapidly and the surrounding environment is under pressure. In 2010 the city and its suburbs were home to 4.2 million people. This figure is expected to reach 5.5 million by 2036.
We will all need space to breathe, seek respite and recreation. Importantly, we will also need to protect some special natural places and the creatures that call them home.
Wombat State Forest
More than two thirds of vegetation types in the Wombat Forest are under-represented in Victoria's national parks. It contains the headwaters of six major river systems, an important water catchment, and yet remains threatened by mining developments.
The Wombat is home to the Common Wombat, Koala, Short-beaked Echidna, Agile Antechinus, Brush-tailed Phascogale (vulnerable in Victoria) and the Greater Glider.
The Victorian National Parks Association and Wombat Forestcare are working to highlight ongoing threats to the forest and monitor its wildlife through our Caught on Camera Project.
In 2010 the VNPA undertook a detailed assessment of the values of the Wombat and other Central Victorian forests, highlighting the need for greater protection.
The rapid expansion of Melbourne's urban growth boundary threatens the loss of many high conservation grassland areas.
We know that at least ten animals and eleven plants listed as threatened in Australia are found within the new urban growth area.
Melbourne's grasslands are home to the Golden Sun Moth and Spiny Rice Flower (critically endangered), Matted Flax-lily (endangered), Striped Legless Lizard and Growling Grass Frog (vulnerable).
The Victorian Government has said it will establish two large grassland reserves on Melbourne's western fringe (15,000ha) if it can clear around 5000ha within urban growth areas. We need to ensure these areas are delivered and protected.
Central Highland Forests
Logging has been the focus of community protest for decades and continues today with the VNPA, other local environment groups and leading forest scientists calling for action.
Some of this area is already protected in the Yarra Ranges National Park, proclaimed in 1995, but at the time we called for protection of a much larger area.
The Central Highlands are a key source of Melbourne's drinking water and home to Mountain Ash, towering trees that are habitat for the nationally endangered Leadbeater's Possum, Victoria's faunal emblem and other species.
The Central Highland Forests also protect the Sooty Owl, Powerful Owl, Yellow-bellied Gliders, Greater Gliders and Smoky Mouse.
We must protect large areas of these special forests, particularly from logging, and ensure they are big enough for key areas to survive future bushfires and allow the forest time to develop sufficient old trees for key species such as Leadbeater's Possum to survive and flourish.
Help us create a strong green edge for Melbourne
Support our work towards ensuring:
- Wombat State Forest is protected under the National Parks Act.
- Western Grassland Reserves are established and protected under the National Parks Act.
- The Yarra Ranges National Park is extended in the Central Highlands.