Minister for Environment, Lisa Neville today joined Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk, James Merlino at the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, where there is a combined effort to improve local biodiversity and support an emerging population of the critically endangered Helmeted Honeyeater.

Minister Neville announced the appointment of the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee, who will establish an Action Plan and coordinate partnerships to help achieve better environmental outcomes.

The Andrews Labor Government will also contribute $175,000 to provide the Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Program with a Volunteers Coordinator for five years. The part-time position will assist the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Senior Ornithologist to manage the supplementary feeding program.

The feeding program has been crucial in allowing the birds to fight back from near-extinction and is a major reason for the recent upswing in numbers, which are currently in excess of 150 and represent the biggest known population in decades.

Six weeks ago, 18 young captive-bred Helmeted Honeyeaters were released into the wild for the first time.

The wild population is supported by DELWP; Parks Victoria; volunteer groups such as Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater; Zoos Victoria; Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority; Melbourne Water; Greening Australia; and La Trobe University.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville

“The establishment of the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee is crucial in ensuring coordinated action to help conserve and enhance the local biodiversity and habitat for threatened species.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk, James Merlino

“The Helmeted Honeyeater feeding program is absolutely crucial to their survival, and providing funding for the Volunteers Coordinator role for five years gives these delicate creatures a better chance to prosper against the odds.”

“Without the ongoing volunteer efforts from organisations like Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, I may not have been fortunate enough to have been with this species today, just six weeks after the heart-warming scene of 18 youngsters being released into the wild.”

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