Mount Alexander Shires is taking steps to improve the habitat in the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens area for the endangered Eltham Copper Butterfly.
Works including weed removal, tree planting and butterfly monitoring will help support the largest known population of this nationally-significant butterfly species.
Dja Dja Wurrung community members and local ecologists are working in partnership with council on the project.
Mount Alexander Shire Council's acting environment officer Nick Layne said the reserve will see significant ecological improvements thanks to the ongoing project.
"The science tells us that the biggest threat to Eltham Copper Butterfly populations is loss of habitat and that is why we're taking action," Mr Layne said.
"Following the discovery of the Eltham Copper Butterfly at the reserve in 1989, local community groups, land managers, volunteers and Council have worked together to protect butterfly habitat through various programs.
"We're building on that work by removing a range of environmental weeds and restoring habitat through this initiative, and we're hoping the Eltham Copper Butterfly will continue to call Castlemaine home for generations to come."
Weed infestations of Blackberry, Hawthorn, Cape Broom, Radiata Pine and Mock Privet will be removed to encourage native vegetation while seedlings of Early Black Wattle, which can out-compete other plants for space, will also be removed.
Sweet Bursaria will be planted in the reserve to provide a food source for the Eltham Copper Butterfly and its associated ant species.
Local ecologists will conduct butterfly monitoring in summer to assess the health of the existing population.
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