The Victorian Government has announced a $1.86 million research initiative to help strike a balance between the needs of the state’s threatened species and those of the timber industry.


State Minister for Environment Ryan Smith said the research would form the largest program of threatened species surveys undertaken by the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) in over a decade.


"The project will involve gathering up-to-date information on the distribution and habitat of key threatened fauna species in public native forests in eastern Victoria," Mr Smith said.


"The species being surveyed include the Smoky Mouse, Long-footed Potoroo, Leadbeater's Possum, Powerful Owl, Sooty Owl, Masked Owl and Galaxias.


"The research is being conducted by DSE's Arthur Rylah Institute with funding from the Department of Primary Industries.


"This project will enable DSE to develop a policy and regulatory framework for threatened species management based on the newest information and most up to date science.


This project is delivering on actions outlined in the Victorian Government's Timber Industry Action Plan, which was released in December 2011. The Timber Industry Action Plan provides a long term plan for a productive, competitive and sustainable timber industry for Victoria.