|The Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Association Shop has donated $300,000 to protect the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater’s Possum in the Yarra Valley. |
The shop, which has been located on the Maroondah Highway in Healesville since 2000, was set up by Peter Hannaford at the bequest of his late wife, Judith Eardley. Judith loved animals all her life and after spending many years helping people as a psychotherapist, Judith had hoped to spend her retirement helping animals.
Peter Hannaford, Judith’s husband and Manager of the Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Foundation says:
“For threatened species such as the Helmeted Honeyeater and Leadbeater’s Possum to survive we need to protect, improve and increase the amount of habitat. The Yarra Valley has some significant remnants of native habitat from pre-European settlement but these are now degraded and fragmented.”
The Judith Eardley Wildlife Association has donated the money raised to the Yarra4Life program run by the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority.
The donation will fund landowner grants to create a ‘bio-link’ between the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve and Kurth Kiln Regional Park.
Landowner grants help with the cost of internal fencing, revegetation, weed and pest animal control on private properties. These natural bush areas form ‘bio-links’ providing food, nesting, breeding and roosting sites for endangered species.
David Buntine, CEO of the PPWCMA says:
“Without the support of charities such as JESW, we would not be able to help landowners make improvements to their land to protect these vital species. The flow on effect of these improvements to the Yarra River catchment as well as local agricultural and tourism industries cannot be underestimated.”
About the Leadbeater’s Possum
- The Leadbeater's Possum was thought to be extinct until it was re-discovered in the Central Highlands of Victoria in 1961.
- This endangered species is now primarily restricted to the tall eucalypt forests of Mountain Ash, Alpine Ash and Shining Gum in the Central Highlands.
- The only lowland population of Leadbeater’s exists in the Yarra Valley near Yellingbo.
- The optimum habitat of Leadbeater's Possum is young regenerating or mixed-aged ash forest that contains both wattles and an ample supply of old hollow trees.
- Key threats are bush-fire damage from Black Saturday and slow habitat re-growth.
About the Helmeted Honeyeater
- Helmeted Honeyeaters are critically endangered with approximately 70 birds in existence.
- Efforts by the Victorian Government to halt the decline in the Helmeted Honeyeater population began in 1965 with the establishment of the Yellingbo State Wildlife Reserve.
- In March 1971 the Helmeted Honeyeater was declared one of Victoria’s State Faunal Emblems.
- The only wild population exists in the Yarra Valley.
- A captive-bred population released from Healesville Sanctuary also exists in the Bunyip area.
- Key threats are clearing and fragmentation of habitat, pest plants and animals (e.g. introduced birds), changing rainfall and environmental flows in waterways.
What is a biolink?
- A biolink is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations which are separated by human activities.
- Wildlife populations need to be different in terms of their location, genetics and size so they are resilient to and survive threats such as disease, fire, flood, drought and predation.
About the Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Association
- The Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Association was established in December 2000 to raise funds to save wildlife.
- The volunteer-based organisation has successfully raised funds for wildlife by selling second-hand goods from their shop on the Maroondah Highway in Healesville.
- 100% of the shop’s proceeds are donated to projects to save wildlife
- Donations can be made at www.jesavewildlife.org
For media enquiries and interviews, contact Kirsten Norton (PPWCMA Communications Leader) on (03) 8781 7903.
For more information about Yarra4Life, contact Adam Shalekoff (Environmental Projects Officer) (03) 8781 7962.
For more information about the Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Association, contact (03) 5962 6399