Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Have you got gorse? – Victorian Gorse Taskforce survey 2018

Posted on 22 February, 2018 by Asha

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) has developed a survey to gain an understanding of the types of support that communities need from VGT to manage gorse in their local area. The VGT uses government investment to establish and support community-led projects, which aim to eradicate gorse where possible across Victoria. Gorse is a highly invasive weed.  It can adversely impact on agriculture, waterways, amenity and native vegetation, as well as harbour pests such as, rabbits and foxes. 

In Victoria, gorse is:

  • Regionally prohibited in the East Gippsland catchment.
  • Regionally restricted in the Mallee catchment.
  • Regionally controlled in all other Victorian catchments.

The results from this survey will help the VGT identify opportunities where they can provide better support to you or your networks. If you know or suspect gorse on your property please take five minutes to fill out the survey so the VGT can work to provide the right support.

The survey should not take any more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and you can go in the draw to win 1 of 3 $50 Woolworths vouchers.

The survey can be accessed via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VGTsurvey

The survey closes 5 pm on Tuesday 13 March 2018.

 

Rabbit Buster Month

Posted on 21 February, 2018 by Asha

February is Rabbit Buster Month. Now is the time to strike!

John ‘Rabbit Buster’ Matthews (Biosecurity Manager, Agriculture Victoria) tells us:

‘The right time, using the right tools, to the correct standards will ensure your investment and effort into rabbit control results in long term control’.

John’s key points include:

  • Collect baseline information. You need to know the scale of your problem before you try to manage it.
  • Know your goal. Rabbits can seriously impede regeneration of many native species.
  • Support and learn from your peers. Local knowledge is powerful. Take some time to learn from your neighbours, landcare group and even local contractors.

Success will come from a committed and coordinated community working simultaneously, using best practice techniques, with high rates of participation at a landscape scale.

CLICK HERE to download the North Central Chat February Newsletter and read a more detailed account of how to ‘Hop On Board’ with rabbit control.

CLICK HERE for more information about rabbit monitoring and control options.

 

Wallabies at the bird bath – Nature News 7 February 2018

Posted on 12 February, 2018 by Tanya Loos

For this month’s Nature News, local landholder Jane Rusden talks about the many animals, both feathered and furred, that use the bird baths at her bush block in Campbells Creek. This article was featured in the Midland Express on 7 February 2018.

Birdbaths are very popular right now.

Birdbaths are a win-win for both the native animals enjoying the water, which is so important in this blistering hot weather, and the humans that get to watch them. I have several sizes of bird baths in different locations on my bush block, suiting different species of birds and other animals.

The pedestal bird bath with gently sloping edges is very popular with the small to medium sized bush birds. It’s so attractive because there are shrubs nearby that the birds can dart into if feeling threatened or unsure. Everything enjoys a drink as well as a good wash and swim:  from all twelve White-winged Choughs in a family group trying to cram in at once, to tiny Striated Thornbills. Surprisingly, the Yellow-footed Antechinus also favours this bath, with the vertical pedestal and the underside of the concrete bowl no obstacle to their agility.

On the ground there is a ceramic birdbath, with gently sloping sides to provide a gradient of water depth, and a small shrub or two nearby. It is preferred by the ground foraging Common Bronzewing, but Crimson Rosellas, Brown-headed and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters use it for drinking and swimming as well.

All the waterweed in the trough has been eaten by the hungry wallabies!     Photo by Jane Rusden.

The deeper cattle trough in the shady courtyard is frequently visited by the echidna, who enjoys a long drink by sticking its nose in up to its eyes and blowing bubbles. In this extremely hot weather, Magpies and Fuscous Honeyeaters will stop by for a drink and a rest in the cool, while the wallabies have taken to jumping right in and sitting there while they cool down and drink at the same time.

We don’t have a TV, but don’t wish for one, as we can spend hours watching the local wildlife use the different birdbaths in their own unique way.

For more on birds and bird baths, see our recent blog post bird-baths-tips-for-keeping-birds-cool-and-safe