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Learn more about the Regent Honeyeater Project

Our Approach

Working with landholders to protect and restore our local environment

Support threatened species

The purpose of the Regent Honeyeater Project is to improve biodiversity to provide a more secure future for a number of threatened species in north east Victoria.

We focus on Box/Ironbark and Grey Box eucalypt woodland areas largely to the east and north of Benalla including the Lurg Hills and Winton Wetlands. The range of threatened woodland birds and animals using these areas includes the Regent Honeyeater, Grey-crowned Babbler, Swift Parrot, Squirrel Glider and Brush Tailed Phascogale. Threatened flora include shrubs that are rare in our region such as Indigofera and Western Golden-Tip and a number of native flowers including daisy and lily species.

Our project is named for the critically endangered Regent Honeyeater because it is the icon (rarest) of the threatened woodland bird community in the area. It can appear when the Ironbark trees are in flower in winter and can sometimes follow a procession of flowering plants into spring. To find out more about the Regent Honeyeater go to the BirdLife Australia ID Guide for Regent Honeyeaters. There are several Honeyeaters that look similar, this will help you to sort out the common from the rare.

Conserve, Revegetate, Connect

Over the last 150+ years our landscape has become fragmented, and a great majority of habitat has been lost. Our approach is to work with local landholders, land managers and volunteers to protect and restore our local environment.

Conserving existing habitat is a vital first step. This includes protecting old growth trees that produce high nectar flows and abundant hollows and important shrubs and groundcover species.

Through an active revegetation program, we are replacing missing plants and structural layers and filling in the gaps between remnants; providing shelter, shade and refuge in the process.

Our aim is to protect and restore all significant remnants of habitat in the project area, to reinstate ecological balances and create self-sustaining, biodiverse vegetation communities.

Over 25+ years we have provided connections across the whole landscape, creating strategic habitat links within the project area and beyond, to assist rare species’ seasonal movements and improve genetic diversity.

Click here to view a map of our work to date. (Large file: 9MB)


The Regent Honeyeater Project is an independent environmental charity, governed by a community based committee of management.

In addition to the critical role of landholders and volunteers, strong local partnerships with public agencies, community groups and businesses help to achieve our purpose.

We work with and learn from a wide range of conservation organisations, universities, government departments and agencies, and Not-for-Profits. Our activities align with the National Recovery Plan for the Regent Honeyeater and we are a member of the national Regent Honeyeater Recovery Team.

The work we do would not be possible without the generous assistance of many funding and support organisations. These include:

  • Australian Government’s National Landcare Program
  • Victorian Government
  • Benalla Rural City Council
  • Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority
  • Landcare Australia
  • Landcare Victoria
  • June Canavan Foundation
  • Trust for Nature
  • Wettenhall Environment Trust
  • Exetel
  • FRV Winton Solar Farm
  • Winton Wetlands Committee of Management


Over 25 years of community-led conservation

Since the beginning of the Regent Honeyeater Project 25+ years ago, over 2,460ha of habitat has been protected and/or planted.

This is the result of:

  • 750,000 seedlings grown and planted across 660 sites with more than 300km of fencing
  • 450+ nest boxes built and placed
  • the involvement of over 40,000 students and volunteers

Some of the impacts for threatened species are:

  • We have observed Grey-crowned Babblers using our corridors only four years after planting. Their local population has more than doubled over the life of the project.
  • Bird surveys have found over 160 bird species in the district! The total includes 17 of the 19 species of threatened woodland birds that would be expected to be found in the project area, many actually nesting in our restoration sites.
  • We have footage of Squirrel Gliders regularly using our nest boxes
  • ​10’s of kilograms of rare seeds have been collected from the seed orchard for planting in the district.
  • We occasionally observe Regent Honeyeaters still in the area, see here for a Community Update including a pair of Regent Honeyeaters raising a chick in a rural garden in Greta West.


Encouraging evidence-based conservation and management

Regent Honeyeater Project encourages research partnership with tertiary students and organisations. A few recent examples are:

  • Louis Boyle-Bryant, Melbourne University, and Winton Wetlands with: ‘Herbivory Impact Assessment for Winton Wetlands’. Louis used 50 motion sensor cameras to assess who or what was removing guards from planted seedlings (showing the kangaroos did it!).
  • Summer Keen, Melbourne University, Winton Wetlands with "Mapping the distribution of Red Gum and Grey Box stags (dead trees) near The Spit in Winton Wetlands". Summer drilled into stags drowned in the formation of Lake Mokoan in 1970, to map the historic lower level that Grey Box could be planted in the restoration of Winton Wetlands post the decommissioning of Lake Mokoan.
  • A 50ha trial by AirSeed Technologies Australia P/L trialling drone planting of pelleted River Red Gum seed. This was carried out with Winton Wetlands near the tip of The Spit, using the results from mapping the distribution of Red Gum and Grey Box stags above by Summer Keen.

We have more than 25 years of data and experiences and would welcome further research which might include in depth analysis at the Masters or PhD level.

Citizen science activities:

The projects below help to quantify the benefits of our restoration work.

  • Annual Grey-crowned Babbler bird surveys over 20+ years, show a gradual increase in both overall number of these threatened birds and the number of family groups. Read more in our news article.
  • Regular nest box inspections and recordings (on hold since before Covid)
  • Annual Lurg Bird Search Weekends in partnership with BirdLife Australia. Over 120 sites surveyed throughout the region each year to assess the changes in bird species and numbers (on hold since Covid).

In the spirit of reconciliation the Regent Honeyeater Project acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.