The recent expansion of Melbourne's Urban Growth Boundary threatens to surround the crucial Southern Brown Bandicoot population at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne and cut connectivity with other populations nearby.
As part of the approval process, the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries has developed the 'Sub-Regional Species Strategy for the Southern Brown Bandicoot' to deliver the following stated key conservation outcomes:
1. functioning sustainable populations within and adjacent to the growth areas, with connectivity between populations
2. protection and enhancement of all populations, including the population at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
While the 2011 draft recognised habitat corridors as the best possible solution for achieving these outcomes, the corridors have been removed from the final document. Without corridors, connectivity between bandicoot sub-populations will be severed by an impenetrable barrier of urban development and the chance of local extinctions of this endangered native mammal become much higher. This is our one and only opportunity to provide corridors; once development has occurred, there will be no going back.
Please let Minister Hunt know you want the corridors to be put back into the strategy!