Faced by an escalating range of threats including habitat loss and degradation, a rapidly expanding population and climate change, the diverse Great Eastern Ranges is a landscape under pressure. The Great Eastern Ranges is one of the few conservation initiatives large enough to respond to these significant environmental challenges at the scale needed to make a measurable difference.
The landscapes of eastern Australia have changed dramatically over the past two hundred years. In the past, landscapes were well connected and continuous. Today roads, dams, fences, agricultural and industrial lands, towns and cities carve up the land into small ‘islands’. This blocks the movement of wildlife, reduces available habitat, and impacts the health of our natural resources and the essential services they provide, such as clean air and water and fertile soils.
This fragmentation of habitat, along with other major threats such as the spread of feral animals and weeds, habitat loss, land use change, altered fire regimes and climate change, have led to significant loss of biodiversity across Australia and the rest of the world. Due to the interconnectedness of all life on earth, this loss of diversity is having a dramatic ripple effect, resulting in less healthy, less resilient landscapes for nature and people.
The Great Eastern Ranges Initiative – a bold vision to solve Australia’s greatest environmental challenges
GER provides the bold vision that brings people together to contribute to conservation outcomes across public and private land at the continental scale. By building long-term, inclusive partnerships with organisations and community groups, we provide a platform for driving greater regional coordination at the local level, whilst creating corridors of effort across multiple landscapes.
Research has shown that the traditional method of only conserving isolated pockets of habitat does not by itself ensure the long-term survival of wildlife, plants and ecosystems. By creating buffers, stepping stones and corridors of habitat to reconnect landscapes at scale, we can stem the loss of native plants and animals, support their movement, and maintain the health of the natural services upon which we all rely.
In the future, the diversity of habitats and altitudinal variation in the Great Eastern Ranges will provide some of the best opportunities in Australia for species to move and adapt in response to a changing climate. Whilst protecting and expanding the ranges’ carbon rich forests and wetlands provide a natural solution to the climate crisis. Read More
Through coordinating and mobilising resources, research, capacity building and national leadership, GER is helping to ensure a healthier future for our landscapes, wildlife and people.