Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Turn your property into habitat for woodland birds

Posted on 8 February, 2018 by Frances

Would you like your property to provide a home for threatened birds and marsupials? We’re looking for keen local landholders with at least three hectares of remnant vegetation to set aside for our local wildlife.

Only one week left to get involved in our Prickly Plants for Wildlife project!

Trees are great, but small native animals need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. Due to a long history of gold mining, timber cutting, grazing, and introduction of rabbits and weeds, many of our woodlands are missing these important prickly shrubs. We’ll work with you to develop a plan specific for your property and needs. As well as planting key understorey species to enhance existing native vegetation, actions can include watering, weed control, rabbit control and ongoing maintenance. We’ll also provide financial support and advice to implement the plan.

Requirements for eligibility:

  • Local property: Your property must be located within the Shire of Mount Alexander, Victoria.
  • An area of at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We’ll also provide some financial support for on-ground actions such as planting, watering, pest control and maintenance. On-ground work will be overseen by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will manage any contractors on your property. However, we’ll be available to offer advice and help with any questions.

 

How to apply:

Please fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to bonnie@connectingcountry.org.au by Monday 19 February 2018. If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594.

Expression-Of-Interest-Form-Prickly-Plants

 

A prickly new project: get involved with Prickly Plants for Wildlife

Posted on 25 January, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Trees are great, but small birds and marsupials need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. We’re very happy to announce that Connecting Country has obtained funding for a new project called Prickly Plants for Wildlife.

This project will supply eligible landholders with valuable understorey plants that will enhance existing native vegetation, and provide habitat for many small birds such as Diamond Firetails, Superb Fairy-wrens, Scarlet Robins and Brown Thornbills.

This charming nest was built by a pair of Mistletoebirds at Bonnie’s property, in a hedge wattle. The white fluff is from an old couch!

Prickly plant species include Bushy Needlewood (Hakea decurrens), Tree Violet (Melicytus dentatus), Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), and acacias such as Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa) and Spreading Wattle (Acacia genistifolia).  These plants are depleted or missing from our local area, and we would like to lend a helping hand to see these plants back in the landscape and on local properties.

Requirements for eligibility

  • Property with at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We will also supply some financial support, and then it is over to you!  Planting, watering, pest control and maintenance will be carried out by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will be in charge of managing contractors on your property. Of course we will be on deck for any information or questions as needed.

How to apply

All interested landholders are encouraged to fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to bonnie@connectingcountry.org.au. Or to find out more about your eligibility, call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594. If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Prickly Plants for Wildlife project, we will keep you on file for future opportunities.

Expression-Of-Interest-Form-Prickly-Plants

A Brown Thornbill in the safety of a prickly Hedge Wattle. Photo by Geoff Park

Expressions of interest close Monday 19 February 2018.

 

Caring for Diamond Firetail habitat: new on ground works program

Posted on 1 November, 2017 by Tanya Loos

A Diamond Firetail, photo by Geoff Park

Connecting Country has been granted funding for a new on ground works project called ‘Caring for Key Biodiversity Areas in Central Victoria’. The special bird habitats of Clydesdale and Sandon are designated as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) by BirdLife International and BirdLife Australia. The trigger species for these areas are the Diamond Firetail, Swift Parrot and Flame Robin.

The project is funded by the Victorian Government – Community and Volunteer Action Grants. In a nutshell, the project has three main components:

  1. Care and protection of native vegetation on private land, including actions such as supplementary revegetation, weed control and rabbit control. These actions will help enhance habitat for the trigger species for the Diamond Firetail, Swift Parrot and Flame Robin.
  2. Creation and installation of two attractive interpretative signs at popular parts of the Key Biodiversity areas, such as Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, and Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve.
  3. Two community events in 2018, such as a bird walk and sign launch!

The participating landholders have been contacted, and site visits will begin in early 2018.

Earlier this year, Connecting Country held a workshop in partnership with BirdLife Australia, to recruit bird survey volunteers known as ‘KBA guardians’ and provide training in how to complete an annual ‘Easter Heath Check’ form. You can read about that workshop here.

Diamond Firetails are declining in our region. Photo by Geoff Park

We are thrilled that this workshop generated the interest and the impetus for this grant.

There is also a very keen new group, coordinated by Friends of Muckleford Forest, which involves volunteers surveying 15 sites across the Muckleford KBA. These surveys are in preparation for the 2018 Easter Health Check. To read about Friends’ project, or volunteer,  see the Friends website here.