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Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has been at the heart of ecological restoration in the Hunter and across Australia for many years. The organisation started in 1982 and has expanded across all Australian states and territories, and has even established in New Zealand.

As part of the NCIG Community Support Program (CSP), NCIG has supported CVA in conservation projects in the Hunter Wetlands National Park since 2012. A key focus for the CVA is assisting local land managers with protection of endangered Coastal Saltmarsh communities. This habitat type is under increasing pressure up and down the east coast of Australia resulting from local development and increasing sea levels. Coastal Saltmarsh is not only endangered, it is also vitally important habitat for wader birds, including migratory shorebird species that visit the Hunter Estuary every summer from the Northern Hemisphere.

To assist in protecting Coastal Saltmarsh, CVA have used volunteer power to manage the expansion of Grey Mangroves (Avicennia marina), a community type that readily out-competes saltmarsh species within the tidal zone. International and local volunteers have graciously donated their time over several years to remove mangrove saplings from various locations across the estuary, including Ash Island.

CVA has also assisted NCIG and its research partners in conducting critical research on the NCIG Migratory Shorebird Habitat on Ash Island. CVA volunteers removed and collected over 15,000 mangroves over 24 hectares of saltmarsh habitat, which were meticulously counted and categorised.

Removing these mangroves not only increases available migratory shorebird habitat, critical for feeding and roosting in the Hunter Estuary, the data on mangrove removal numbers and areas is also provided to the University of NSW and Newcastle University to inform important research and guide future management of the compensatory habitat.

This was a valuable collaboration between NCIG, CVA, National Parks and Wildlife Service and various research institutions to achieve positive environmental impacts on Ash Island and improve outcomes for endangered species and communities in the estuary.

NCIG acknowledges the hard work by CVA and their fantastic volunteers to preserve our local wetlands.  Another example of engaging with people, and working together to achieve great environmental outcomes.  Anyone interested in volunteering with CVA can get involved here: 

WANT TO VOLUNTEER - CLICK HERE

Some of CVA's professional team
Some of CVA's professional team
Volunteers hard at work helping in important research
Volunteers hard at work helping in important research
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