Vital People: Conservation effort a natural for stewards of Mayne Island

The Mayne Island Conservancy is hoping the success of its Stewards in Action project will foster a culture of conservation among local landowners, ensuring the survival of local ecosystems and species.

The conservancy aims to foster harmony between nature and community on Mayne Island, with a goal of conserving and restoring natural ecosystem diversity and health. It has proved effective in the restoration of habitat on areas legally protected or under government stewardship. But the majority of the island, more than 85 per cent, is privately owned.

Stewards in Action works to create a culture of conservation by working with local landowners, said Rob Underhill, a biologist working for the conservancy.

The Victoria Foundation has provided funding support for the project in 2019.

The conservancy, created in 2003, has been implementing natural areas management projects since 2009. In Stewards in Action, it is working hand-in-hand with private landowners to apply resources where they are needed most.

To date, the conservancy has worked with more than 50 private property owners to steward natural areas on their properties. They involve long-term management plans that can include invasive plant management.

The conservancy is also well equipped to restore vegetation, having managed a native plant nursery on the island since 2011.

We talk with landowners to provide guidance, identify specific situations and help make sure changes ar....

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