Strategic Connectivity Corridors 2012/2013

Project Details

  1. Project Description

The Strategic Connectivity Corridors project is an extension of the 2010-2012 Climate Change Corridors Project, where prioritisation modelling is applied to Expressions of Interest’s for the identification and selection of strategic investment areas in the Murrumbidgee catchment. Due to the large number of EOI’s submitted during the 2010-2012 rounds, prioritisation modelling will be used to reinvestigate and extended previous EOI’s to the 2012-2013 round.

Assessment techniques will be conducted using a consisted method to previous years where selected areas will fund resilience through climate change by strategically connecting, protecting, enhancing and reinstating native vegetation and riparian/wetland systems through fragmented landscapes. This approach will build on connectivity reinstated during the 2010-2012 rounds and will improve the condition, extent and linkage between the riverine to ridgeline areas at a sub-catchment scale within the Murrumbidgee CMA.

  1. Catchment Action Plan / CFOC / CANSW Targets

BMT 1: Protect high conservation value vegetation.
BMT 2: Increase revegetation and regeneration.
BMT 3:Manage for Biodiversity.
BMT 6: Control environmental pest animals.
BMT 7: Control environmental weeds. / 278ha priority native vegetation protected and enhanced for biodiversity conservation.
800ha native habitat increased in area and managed to reduce critical threats.
Biodiversity condition recorded using the PVP framework.
WMT 1: Increase stream bank revegetation.
WMT 8: Manage flood plain wetlands.
WMT 9:Manage other wetlands. / 13km of riparian and wetland areas protected and enhanced.
500ha of habitat restoration in the Lowbidgee Floodplain by increasing native habitat and increasing landscape scale conservation.
500 ha of pest animal control in the Lowbidgee Floodplain through fox baiting, rabbit control and Integrated Pest Management programs.
CMT 3:Remove barriers to natural resource management adoption.
CMT 4: Incorporate cultural heritage values.
CMT 7: Partner with private land owners and Landcare.
CMT 10: Increase the knowledge and skills of farm businesses & communities.
CMT 12: Protect/respect Indigenous cultural heritage sites/values / 40 farmers engaged in activities to protect and enhance native vegetation communities by using best management practice and through incentives.
40 land managers engaged in activities to improve their knowledge and skills in NRM.
2 engagement and extension activities held.
  1. Project Criteria

To achieve the native vegetation and riparian/wetland targets associated with this project, two project components apply.

Component One: Fencing and revegetation (corridor/buffer plantings)

  • Corridor plantings must create landscape connectivity between remnant native vegetation. Each patch of remnant native vegetation at each end of the corridor planting is to be >10ha.
  • Corridor plantings must be 30m or more wide.
  • Corridor plantings must be no longer than 1km before meeting a patch of remnant native vegetation that is >10ha.
  • Corridor plantings that include riparian areas or stepping stones e.g. paddock trees, should be encouraged.
  • If remnant native vegetation patches are smaller than 10ha, further apart than 1km, or in poor condition, encourage buffer plantings to improve patch size and quality.
  • Corridor plantings must be fenced (i.e. stock-proof) and constructed to be wildlife friendly.

Component Two: Vegetation protection (with fencing)

  • A patch of remnant terrestrial native vegetation must be >10ha (with the exception of wetlands as specified below).
  • Wetlands and associated vegetation communities must be:

- Minimum of 2 ha for Montane Peatlands and Swamps

- Minimum of 5 ha (including associated vegetation communities) for all other wetlands

- Never cultivated and not farm dams

  • Supplementary planting or direct seeding may be undertaken within or around a vegetation protection area. Density is to be appropriate to the vegetation community.


  • The aim of these activities is to connect remnant native vegetation by revegetation and to protect patches of remnant native vegetation. This is to improve the resilience of species and to allow for the mixing of populations.
  • Remnant native vegetation can be any vegetation community including wetlands, riparian sites and swamps.
  • Payment and procurement are for goods and services involved in fencing and revegetation.
  • Payments for onground works will be delivered through one upfront payment paid upon PVP approval.
  • Alternate water provisions can be used where access to an existing water source has been removed by participating in the project.
  • There is no scope in this project for erosion control works. These must be done at the landholder’s expense or through other projects.
  • Willow control will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will only occur in priority areas.
  1. Supporting Material

Guidelines for Connectivity Management and Restoration in Australia

Veronica A.J. Doerr, Erik D. Doerr and Micah J. Davies

CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems

In a systematic review of evidence for the effectiveness of different types of landscape connectivity in Australia, we analysed data from 80 different studies. These analyses revealed new insights for how best to link small, fragmented remnants of native vegetation in Australia. This is a summary of the resulting management recommendations*. Our guidelines are built around a series of simple steps:

Step 1: Evaluate the landscape context to see if connectivity management and restoration is appropriate for the ecosystem in question. It is appropriate if multiple good quality patches of native vegetation at least 10-20ha in size can be connected, and those patches are no more than 1.1km apart. If patches are smaller than 10ha, further apart than 1.1km, or in poor condition, efforts might be better directed at improving patch size and quality.

Step 2: Determine which types of structural connectivity are likely to be most effective given your goals (facilitate movement between patches or provide additional habitat) and local environment (temperate or tropical). To facilitate movement between patches, the primary goal of connectivity, stepping stones (scattered trees, shrubs, etc.) may be slightly more effective than corridors in both temperate and tropical environments. Gaps between stepping stones should be no more than ~100m. However, to provide additional habitat, corridors or even patchily vegetated linear connections may be the best option in temperate environments.

Width and vegetation/habitat quality may be important, and there is some evidence to suggest corridors need to be at least 350m wide and very high quality to provide habitat. To provide habitat in tropical environments, patchily vegetated linear connections can be very effective as long as gaps in them are no more than ~100m and they are at least 80-350m wide.

Step 3: Given the information above on effectiveness of connectivity options, select which option to pursue by also considering the other benefits desired in the landscape, such as shelter for stock, riparian restoration, and wind breaks, compared to the costs involved.

Step 4: Monitor the results of connectivity management actions and be prepared to adjust management activities based on data from this ongoing monitoring as well as any recommendations coming from new research. Even better, managers should whenever possible actively contribute to connectivity research by linking with researchers to apply management actions in an experimental framework with replication and to make their findings widely available to other managers and researchers.

We provide these guidelines for managing and restoring structural connectivity with the caveat that they are still based on a small number of studies that often rely on untested assumptions. Given this overall paucity of data on functional connectivity in Australian landscapes, an adaptive management approach involving links with researchers is absolutely crucial. It also must be stressed that most of the data on which these recommendations are based come from studies of mammals and birds living in woodland and forest ecosystems.

These guidelines should thus be most applicable in similar systems and should be applied more broadly only with caution.

* For more information see Doerr, VAJ, Doerr, ED, and Davies, MJ. 2010. Systematic Review #44: Does structural connectivity facilitate dispersal of native species in Australia's fragmented terrestrial landscapes? Collaboration for Environmental Evidence: Bangor, UK. Available online at: or contact Leanna Moerkerken for a copy.

2012/2013 Strategic Connectivity Corridors Page 1 of 4 Commercial In Confidence