Saving the Corangamite Water Skink

After years of habitat loss and degradation the Corangamite Water Skink (Eulamprus tympanum marnieae) has found itself on the critically endangered list. In an attempt to conserve this little lizard-which is found nowhere else on earth – our team in Colac has kicked off an exciting new project to protect it, along with other threatened species in the region. Aimee Jackson explains…

I’ve been working on wetland restoration and threatened species projects on the Victorian Volcanic Plains since 2005, and this new one is just as exciting as anything I’ve done before.

As part of the Victorian Environmental Partnerships Program (VEPP), we’ll be working with local communities and landholders to carry out on-ground work to rebuild degraded landscapes and protect existing habitats. Funded by the Victoria Government, the VEPP aims to deliver improved biodiversity outcomes for the incredible range of species that live on the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

The activities will particularly benefit the Corangamite Water Skink, the magnificent Brolga (Grus rubicunda), and native plants like the Spiny Peppercress (Lepidium aschersonii) and Salt Lake Tussock Grass (Poa sallacustris).

We recently started contacting landholders in the Corangamite region to plan environmental projects on their properties, and so far the response has been really positive. People are usually thrilled to discover that their property supports a rare species, and it’s rewarding for us to be able to assist them in protecting it.

The team in Colac is now really forward to getting on with some on-ground activities such as fencing, weed and pest control, revegetation and species monitoring. Along with the Grassy Groundcover Restoration Project, it’s going to be a really exciting few years on the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Words: Ammie Jackson, Main image: Barry Mousley

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