Hunter GER

Hunter GER is actively working to conserve the unique values of the Hunter Valley region by improving the resilience of ecosystems and habitat in the face of climate change and changing land-use.

From a social, economic, biodiversity and connectivity conservation perspective, the Hunter Valley is one of the most complex parts of the Great Eastern Ranges. Since settlement, the natural landscape has become increasingly degraded and fragmented, and continues to be impacted by expanding agricultural, industrial and urban development. In addition, a substantial proportion of the valley floor is earmarked for coal exploration and possible mining over the next 30 to 50 years. This has already resulted in a large number of animals, plants and ecosystems under significant risk.

What makes this landscape special?
With a natural gap in the Great Eastern Ranges at the head of the Hunter Valley, this is one of only three areas on the eastern seaboard of Australia where inland ecosystems stretch all the way to the coast. While this gap assists wildlife to move in an east to west direction, it also creates a critical pinch-point in the ranges which restricts their movements from north to south. The conservation of north-south ‘stepping stones’ of habitat (small patches of vegetation) is therefore vital for enabling the continued movement of plants and animals across the ranges.


  • Building Stepping Stones in the Hunter

    Building Stepping Stones in the Hunter

    The innovative Stepping Stones project has already reconnected around 4,350 previously isolated patches of bushland occurring on private lands in the Hunter Valley, to the Great Eastern Ranges. By creating a series of stepping stone connections between local areas of habitat, movement of species across the landscape is being improved. To date, over 140 landholders in key target areas have participated in the project - planting native species on their properties, undertaking weed control, enhancing vegetation along riverbanks and fencing off key native habitat areas from cattle. Broader community engagement and knowledge sharing is serving to amplify these efforts.

  • Regent Honeyeater Restoration Project
    © Dean Ingwersen camera

    Regent Honeyeater Restoration Project

    In 2015, Hunter GER teamed up with John Holland Rail, on behalf of Transport for NSW and Taronga Conservation Society Australia to deliver a Regent Honeyeater Restoration Project along the disused rail corridor running from Merriwa to Sandy Hollow. With a focus on learning activities for students within local schools (including visits by the ever popular Taronga Zoomobile) and on-site native species plantings days, young people have helped to achieve long-term native habitat outcomes in their local communities.

Our partners

Regional Lead

Ruth Hardy

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