Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Australia’s great wildlife migrations talk – 31 March 2019

Posted on 20 February, 2019 by Frances

Australia’s great wildlife migrations: restoring habitats for nomadic nectar-feeding birds and bats

Biolinks Alliance is excited to be hosting leading conservation biologist, Dr Peggy Eby for her public address in Bendigo. Her ground-breaking research reveals the story of Australia’s unique, but little-known, wildlife migrations of nectar-feeding birds and bats. These animals fly vast distances tracking nectar-rich bushlands as they flower.

Hear why Grey-headed Flying foxes have come to take up residence in cities like Bendigo and Melbourne, why one in four of our woodland bird species are threatened, and how you can be part of the solution in central Victoria.

Grey-headed Floying Fox Silky Oak flowers Photo - Vivien Jones.jpgWhen: Sunday 31 March 2019 at 2.30-3.30 pm, doors open 2.00 pm
Where: Banquet Room, The Capital, 50 View St, Bendigo VIC
Tickets: $10 for non-members OR free for members of Biolinks Alliance member organisations (which includes Connecting Country members) and Biolinks Alliance Associate Members

To book or find out more visit: www.biolinksalliance.org.au/peggyeby

 

Camp Out on the Mount 2019

Posted on 14 February, 2019 by Asha

It’s that time of year again! Details of the sixth Camp Out on the Mount are now available and registrations are open. Please join Connecting Country, Little Habitat Heroes and local Landcare groups to celebrate the beautiful Leanganook (Mount Alexander) and the fabulous work that Landcare and Friends groups do all year round.

This free event is supported by funding from the North Central Catchment Management Authority through the Victorian Landcare Program, as well as Mount Alexander Shire Council, Friends of the Box-Ironbark Forests, and Little Habitat Heroes. We will have guest presenters from Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Victoria and Bendigo TAFE, along with local authors and artists. Yummy food will also be provided by the Harcourt Lions Club, Murnong Mummas, and the Camp Out Damper Team.

Camp Out on the Mount 2018 (photo by Tegan Benham-Bannon)

CLICK HERE to visit the booking website

CLICK HERE to download the flier

When: Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 April 2019
Where: Leanganook Camping Ground, Joseph Young Drive, Mount Alexander Regional Park, Faraday VIC
What to bring: Camping gear and supplies, food for Sunday breakfast, gold coin donation or Saturday night BBQ, weather-appropriate clothes, sturdy shoes and sun protection.

Below is a run-down of the Camp Out on the Mount 2019 program. You are more than welcome to attend some or all of the activities. Please let us know through the booking website which activities you plan to attend, as this will help us in planning how many people to cater for.

If you have any questions, please call Asha on (03) 5472 1594 or email asha@connectingcountry.org.au

Please note: activities will be cancelled in the case of severe weather.

SATURDAY 6 APRIL

5:30 pm  Welcome to Country

6:00 pm  Lions Club BBQ and damper (gold coin donation)

7:30 pm  Night walk with Parks Victoria ranger

OVERNIGHT CAMP OUT (BYO camping gear and supplies)

SUNDAY 7 APRIL

9:30 am   Bus down to Old Silk Worm Farm site

10:00 am Welcome and morning tea

10:30 am  Panel of local experts talk about the Mount, including Rebecca Phillips (Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation), Terri Williams (Bendigo TAFE), and Ian Braybrook and Marilyn Bennet (authors of ‘Sarah’s search – A silk odyssey’), facilitated by George Milford

11:30 am  ‘Seeds that grow’ song performed by Eva Popov

11:45 am  ‘Make you own native seed balls’ activity

12:30 pm  Bus back to camp site

Gathered around the fire at the 2018 Camp Out on the Mount (photo by Asha Bannon)

 

Hazard to cyclists – Caltrop weed

Posted on 13 February, 2019 by Frances

Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) is a Regionally controlled weed in the North Central Catchment.  It is also known as bindii, cat’s head, goat’s head or yellow vine. It is a flat, summer-growing, annual herb with yellow flowers.

Caltrop (photo by Ern Perkins)

The fruit of caltrop is a woody burr with sharp spines. This burr can puncture bike tires, making it particularly annoying for cyclists.  It can also puncture human skin, and injure the feet, mouth and digestive system of animals. Burrs are easily picked up and spread by vehicle tyres, shoes, animal feet and other objects.

Caltrop has been observed growing in Castlemaine.  A small and committed band of volunteers are helping to keep it under control. Margaret Panter developed a poster (click here) to raise awareness about this prickly weed.

How to prevent Caltrop becoming widespread in Castlemaine:

  • Avoid infested areas (see map here), as walking, riding or driving through them spreads seeds to other areas.
  • Pull or cut out plants before they drop their prickles.
  • Report new infestations to Mount Alexander Shire Council.
  • Check shoes and tyres for prickles before leaving an infested area.
  • Destroy seeds or put in a secure bag in the bin.

 

The Wombat Forest’s Owls and Gliders – 8 February 2019

Posted on 6 February, 2019 by Tanya Loos

Greater Glider (photo by Gayle Osborne)

The first speaker for the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club in 2019 is Gayle Osborne.

Gayle has been involved with Wombat Forestcare for many years and will present a talk titled ‘Fauna surveys in the Wombat Forest’. Gayle will describe the group’s motion-sensing camera projects, searches for Powerful Owls and spotlighting for Greater Gliders. She will explain why entering data on the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas is essential for conservation. Gayle will also mention the new fungi app and who to contact for more information.

For a preview of the Wombat Forest Greater Gliders, read the latest issue of the Wombat Forestcare newsletter here.

Fauna surveys in the Wombat Forest – talk by Gayle Osborne
When: Friday 8 February 2019 at 7.30 pm
Where: Fellowship Room behind the Uniting Church Hall on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC (next door to the Castlemaine Art Museum)

Members and visitors are all welcome and there is no cost for entry.

Everyone is also welcome to attend an excursion on the following day (Saturday 9 February 2019).  Meet at the Octopus building on Duke St, Castlemaine VIC (opposite the Castle Motel) ready for a 1.30 pm departure. Please bring afternoon tea. Car-pooling will be available.

 

Act now for Rabbit Buster Month

Posted on 5 February, 2019 by Asha

February marks ‘Rabbit Buster Month’. This successful campaign began in the 1990s and continues to serve as a reminder to plan for and act on rabbit control.

Rabbit monitoring

It’s easy to observe when rabbit populations are high as damage is noticeable, but it can be hard to know when populations are building. Ensuring rabbits have minimal impact within a specific area requires regular monitoring. If rabbit numbers reach unacceptable levels, immediate control actions are required.

Useful rabbit monitoring techniques that landholders can implement on their own properties are described in the following documents:


Rabbit control

If rabbit numbers reach levels which require control, an integrated approach using a range of techniques usually works best. Methods can include fumigation, shooting, baiting using pindone, ferrets, warren ripping and netting. Most of these techniques require specialist practitioners with appropriate licences and accreditation, with their associated equipment and other costs.

A cost-effective way for landholders to get started with rabbit control is to establish one or more rabbit bait stations, using an oat bait with pindone poison as the active ingredient. Your local rural supply merchant can supply this product and advice.

Click on these links for useful information for setting up your own bait station:

However, the most effective rabbit control uses a range of techniques and constant vigilance. The good news is that even the most rabbit-affected properties can be brought under control, and the rabbit numbers maintained at very low levels.

Rabbit biocontrol

Rabbit biocontrol, such as introduction of a rabbit virus, can be most beneficial if applied as part of an integrated and complementary pest management approach. Here are some statistics about the release of a new rabbit virus (from the February 2019 North Central Chat newsletter):

  • The RHDV1 K5 rabbit virus was officially released at 382 locations nationwide.
  • Sites included 373 community-run release sites and nine intensively monitored releases sites.
  • Some sites did not progress due to low rabbit numbers, timing or poor weather conditions.
  • 42% of sites recorded a reduction in rabbit numbers post-release (based on data from 191 release sites).
  • Through laboratory analysis, RHDV1 K5 rabbit deaths were confirmed in every state and territory, except the Northern Territory.


Further information

If you would like a hard copy of Connecting Country’s  ‘Ute Guide to Rabbit Control’, contact our office on (03) 5472 1594 or email info@connectingcountry.org.au

To visit the Victorian Rabbit Action Network website, click here

To download the February 2019 North central Chat, which includes a Rabbit Buster Month feature, click here

To download a copy of Connecting Country approved contractor list, click here

Rabbit warrens scattered across paddocks in Muckleford Gorge (photo by Tanya Loos)

 

Climate Change Adaptation grant opportunity for groups

Posted on 31 January, 2019 by Tanya Loos

Community Climate Change Adaptation (3CA) Grants now open

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is delivering a small grants program to build resilience to climate change impacts through community-driven adaptation activities that address identified gaps and priorities in Victoria’s regions.

Applications close on Sunday 31 March 2019 and projects must be completed by 31 December 2020. Grants will be between $25,000 to $75,000.

Eligible projects must either be led by, or implemented in partnership with, a local council, traditional owner corporation, community group, or not-for-profit organisation.

This program will fund two categories of projects:

  • Building Adaptive Capacity: these projects will build the capacity of communities or regions to better plan for, coordinate and deliver actions that support communities to adapt to current or future climate change impacts.
  • Delivering Adaptation Action: delivering adaptation action projects will implement practical actions that will support communities and regions to adapt to current or future climate change impacts

For more detailed information about the grant opportunity, including guidelines on project eligibility, grant assessment criteria, application process and funding conditions, and FAQs go to https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/adapting-to-climate-change-impacts/community-climate-change-adaptation-3ca-grants-program

To apply online via DELWP’s online portal click here.

For more information on climate change impacts and climate change adaptation priorities and gaps in your region of Victoria please refer to the relevant Regional Climate Change Adaptation Snapshot Report.

 

Snake and reptile workshop success

Posted on 24 January, 2019 by Tanya Loos

The weather was kind to us at our snake workshop on Saturday 19 January 2019 – sunny but not too hot. Over fifty participants were able to give the presenter and his reptiles their full attention. The event was run by Connecting Country in partnership with Muckleford Catchment Landcare, and supported by funding from North Central Catchment Management Authority.

Stu from Snakehandler gave us a fascinating full hour presentation, including plenty of myth busting, introduction to different snake species and their ecology, and hints on snake safety and snake bite first aid. We all learned so much from Stu! Stu has many years of experience and a great love for snakes and other reptiles. He helped us understand the importance of snakes to our local ecosystems, why snakes behave the way they do, and how we can all live safely with snakes. Frances took notes during Stu’s talk, which are well worth a read here.

After the presentation, Stu introduced us to some real live reptiles! Those who wished were able to hold a very sweet Eastern Bearded Dragon, a Common Blue-tongue Lizard and a large Murray Darling Carpet Python, and also see some local venomous snakes housed in special terrariums. All species were native to central or northern Victoria. All the animals used for the presentations are selected for their temperament and ability to handle stress, and will be rested for weeks before being used again, as Stu and his team have plenty of reptiles.

Many thanks to Stu from Snakehandler, Jacqui for organising this wonderful event, and to all those that assisted with set-up and pack-up. Special thanks to the Mellick-Cooper family who hosted the event on their beautiful property, and to Muckleford Catchment Landcare for the delicious morning tea. We hope all participants enjoyed the workshop as much as we did!

Please enjoy this gallery of photos from the day – scroll through by hovering your mouse on the right of the picture.

 

Bountiful bird baths

Posted on 23 January, 2019 by Tanya Loos

It is true, we have previously written about the wonders of bird baths for birds and other fauna. But with another heat wave hitting this week, we are sharing a new gallery of pics of animals using local bird baths during our recent hot weather. On a 40 degree day, fresh cool water can be literally a life saver!

Thirsty wallaby drinks from a bird bath (photo by Jane Rusden)

However, avian visitors are more common. How many bird species can you identify visiting this bird bath? Hover your mouse over the right hand side of the gallery to click on the arrow and move through these photos taken by Frances Howe…

 

 

Breakfast with the Birds – Saturday 2 February 2019

Posted on 22 January, 2019 by Tanya Loos

Enjoy a picnic brekky with Brown Treecreepers, Eastern Yellow Robins and maybe even a Diamond Firetail or two. And some nice friendly humans of course, with BirdLife Castlemaine District Branch friends and members.

The beautiful Loddon River, with great bird habitat lining the banks

BYO picnic breakfast followed by a bird walk
When: Saturday 2 February 2019 at 8.30 am
Where: Warburtons Bridge picnic ground, on the Loddon River, Drummond-Vaughan Rd, Glenluce VIC
Bring: Food to share, your own drinks, Thermos, cutlery, etc. Binoculars, hat, sunscreen and sturdy shoes.

Long pants are also recommended during snake season.

Meet at Warburtons Bridge picnic ground at  8.15 am, or to carpool from Castlemaine: meet outside 30 Templeton St, Castlemaine VIC at 8.00 am.

All welcome! Please contact Jane Rusden of Birdlife Castlemaine District (ph: 0448 900 896) for further information about this event.

Please note walks will be cancelled if the temperature is forecast to be 35 degrees or more during the walk period and/or if the day has been declared a Total Fire Ban day.

 

Tussock hitches a ride across Victoria

Posted on 16 January, 2019 by Asha

The year 2018 saw perfect conditions for Serrated Tussock, allowing this weed of national significance to seed prolifically and contaminate stock feed.

Here is a message from the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party:

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) would like to advise landowners to ensure fodder and hay purchased this summer and autumn is free of noxious weeds, and in particular, serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma). The previous year has seen perfect conditions for this weed of national significance to seed prolifically, resulting in many paddocks being infested prior to baling for fodder. Drier conditions also result in more fodder being transported around the state and interstate.

Whilst it can be difficult to inspect all fodder purchased for noxious weeds, VSTWP Executive Officer Doug May suggests that ‘Landowners should attempt to purchase stockfeed from reputable outlets that can verify the absence of declared noxious weeds and from areas outside of the serrated tussock core infestations around the fringes of northern and western Melbourne’. ‘Landowners are often unaware of the grassy weed in their paddocks, especially during a decent spring like the one we just had and may bale paddocks unaware of the viable seeds in the fodder,’ noted Mr May.

The VSTWP recommends that landowners set aside designated feed-out area, which allows the landowner to monitor this area regularly for the germination of weeds particularly after periods of rain. Landowners should keep an eye out for Serrated Tussock or any new or unusual plants in these feed-out areas and undertake control measures early before they flower and set seed.

Long standing member and current chairperson of the VSTWP, John Burgess, stated that the VSTWP ‘advocates that best practice management is to control and treat mature serrated tussock plants prior to flowering and seeding each season with a registered herbicide, manual removal or cultivation’.

Serrated tussock is an introduced invasive plant from South America that has the potential to rapidly decrease the biodiversity of native grasslands and seriously reduce the agricultural capacity of properties.

For further information, please visit www.serratedtussock.com or email info@serratedtussock.com.

Serrated tussock seeds are small and numerous, and can travel via fodder and stock-feed

 

Preview ‘The Adventures of Ernie the Queensland Fruit Fly’ – 24 January 2019

Posted on 15 January, 2019 by Frances

Mount Alexander Shire Council and the City of Greater Bendigo, in partnership with Agriculture Victoria, invite you to join a sneak peek preview of The Adventures of Ernie the Fruit Fly – a series of educational videos on managing Queensland fruit fly.

Light refreshments will be served.

When: Thursday 24 January 2019 from 2.00 to 2.45 pm
Where: Castlemaine Civic Centre, Council Chambers, Lyttleton St, Castlemaine VIC

Please RSVP by 18 January to Amanda Every a.every@mountalexander.vic.gov.au

 

Pizza party in the park – Intrepid Landcare

Posted on 14 January, 2019 by Asha

Are you a young person? Do you want to help care for our land and the environment?
Do you like pizza???

Come along and chat about starting an Intrepid Landcare group for people aged 18-35 years. Pizza and music provided, BYO drinks. Call or text 0418 428 721 for more information.

When: Saturday 9 February 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Where: Castlemaine Botanical Gardens (near the rotunda), Castlemaine VIC

CLICK HERE to download the flier, and please feel free to share!

 

 

Work with Connecting Country – monitoring and engagement roles

Posted on 9 January, 2019 by Frances

Our fabulous Monitoring and Engagement Coordinator, Tanya Loos, will soon be moving on from her role at Connecting Country to focus on her writing career. This means we have an exciting opportunity for one or two hardworking people with experience in natural resource management to join our established community-run organisation. Connecting Country works with landholders and community groups to restore landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region of central Victoria, on both public and private land. Further information about our work is available on our website (www.connectingcountry.org.au).

Monitoring Coordinator role
Connecting Country’s biodiversity monitoring began in 2010. Rigorous, long-term monitoring is essential to determine if threatened species are declining, or if our on-ground habitat restoration is successfully increasing populations of at-risk species. The Monitoring Coordinator is responsible for managing Connecting Country’s biodiversity monitoring activities, in accordance with our strategic plan, and leading their strategic evolution over time. Woodland bird monitoring is the major focus, but monitoring also encompasses nest box surveys, reptile and frog surveys and vegetation surveys.

Engagement Coordinator role
Community engagement is central to Connecting Country’s ongoing efforts towards habitat enhancement and healthy environments in the Mount Alexander Region. The Engagement Coordinator is responsible for overseeing Connecting Country’s community engagement activities, in accordance with our strategic plan, and leading their strategic evolution over time. Engagement encompasses community workshops and events, media communications, engagement with project partners and funders, and interactions with community groups, volunteers and individuals.

Further information
These are two separate, part-time roles (two days per week each) based in Castlemaine, Victoria. They are 12 month contract positions, with contract extension subject to performance and funding availability. For further details about the roles, please refer to the full position descriptions:

  • Monitoring Coordinator position description – click here
  • Engagement Coordinator position description – click here

If you have any questions, please contact Frances on 03 5472 1594 (Monday to Thursday) or info@connectingcountry.org.au.

How to apply
Please provide your written application by email to info@connectingcountry.org.au by 28 January 2019, including a brief application letter summarising your suitability for the role and curricula vitae demonstrating your relevant skills and experience.

 

Eltham Copper Butterfly search – 12 January 2019

Posted on 8 January, 2019 by Frances

Eltham Copper Butterfly monitoring workshop and search is on! Join local ecologists Elaine Bayes and Karl Just to look for this threatened species.

When:   Saturday 12 January 2019 from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm
Where: Meet at the water tanks at the end of Hunter St, before junction with Kalimna Park Tourist Rd in Kalimna Park, Castlemaine, VIC
Bring:   Field gear (good shoes, hat, water bottle, sun screen, etc.), pen or pencil, a pair of binoculars and camera if you have them

The aim is to learn how to search for Eltham Copper Butterfly and search for some, if time allows. You will learn:

  • How to identify Eltham Copper Butterfly and avoid confusion with other similar butterflies.
  • Data collection method.
  • How to use an app for data recording.

Eltham Copper Buttlerfly has a wingspan of only 2-3 cm.

If you already feel comfortable with how to identify Eltham Copper Butterfly and how to record data, then get out there and have a search!

Click here for a data sheet with method and photos to help with butterfly identification.

Click here for a map of the park divided into areas. You can either choose one area or use it to describe where you have searched.

We’re particularly keen to check for Eltham Copper Butterfly in the shaded green area of the map, as there is a planned burn in this area.  A burn would kill the butterflies, so your data will be very important. If possible please take photos of any Eltham Copper Butterflies you find, as extra confirmation they are present.

Not an Eltham Copper Butterfly! This Common Brown Butterfly has a wingspan of 6-7 cm.

Mid to late December through to the end of March is when Eltham Copper Butterfly are flying, with a peak in December to January. Another butterfly search will be held on Saturday 16 February 2019.

For further information please contact Elaine Bayes (rakali@outlook.com.au).

 

Hollows, habitat and nest boxes: design and installation tips

Posted on 2 January, 2019 by Frances

Following Connecting Country’s highly popular nest box workshops during autumn 2018, we’ve compiled some nest box design and installation tips. These tips were compiled by Connecting Country’s Tanya Loos from our workshops with local ecologist and nest box builder, Miles Geldard.

Phascogale in nest box at Welshmans Reef (photo by Jess Lawton)

All animals need to meet their basic needs of something to eat and somewhere to live. Australia’s fauna is particularly reliant on hollows for shelter and breeding – possums, gliders, bats, kookaburras, parrots, treecreepers, reptiles such as geckos and even frogs need hollows.

Hollows are a highly limited resource in today’s Box-Ironbark forests. The sheer scale of clearing and removal of large old trees for timber in our region is almost unbelievable. Trees were logged for railway sleepers, mine shaft infrastructure, baker’s ovens, boilers, heating and construction. Only 15% of the Box-Ironbark forests remain and virtually no old growth patches are left.

Hollows may begin to form in any aged tree, even relatively young trees if the conditions are right. In some countries, woodpeckers create hollows in trees.

Here in Australia, the bark needs to be damaged in some way – either by wind, lightning, fire or by animals (such as galahs) – so that termite or fungal activity may begin to create a hollow. In Box-Ironbark forests, termites do most of the hollow formation, whereas in wet forests it is fungi. Galahs and other parrots love to chew bark. Are they ecosystem engineers creating hollows for the future, or just larrikins sharpening their bills?

Miles has reviewed scientific papers on our local hollow-using fauna’s habitat needs and preferences. He uses this information when designing and installing nest boxes considering internal hollow dimensions, size of entrance, tree type, location on tree and orientation.

Miles suggests installing as many nest boxes as you can manage to install and maintain. Many hollow-dependent animals use multiple nesting sites located across their home range.

For Connecting Country’s full notes with nestbox design and installation tips: click here

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning also recently published some useful general information about nestbox use (click here) and monitoring (click here).

 

Bird baths – a cool treat for birds over summer

Posted on 2 January, 2019 by Jacqui

Bird baths provide a welcome retreat from the summer heat for a range of wildlife. Depending on the size and location of your bath, you may be visited by tiny birds such as pardalotes, gregarious honeyeaters and rosellas, frogs and reptiles, or larger animals like echidnas and wallabies, as this previous story from local landholder Jane Rusden describes.  As many of you know a visitor to the bird bath can be a delightful and rewarding way to interact with wildlife from close range, perhaps from your living room or kitchen window.  Washing up has never been so much fun!

With more hot weather forecast we wanted to share a reminder to monitor water levels in your bird bath, especially during extended hot periods so birds don’t lose a water source they may be depending on. It’s also a good idea to ask a neighbour to refill your bath(s) if you’re going away over summer.

If you are considering setting up a bird bath or would like some tips on how to keep birds cool, healthy and safe from predators please read more here.

Here are some gorgeous images taken recently by our Director Frances Howe at her bird bath near Castlemaine. Frances’ bird bath is on a pedestal and close to perches to keep birds safe as they come in to bathe.  Thanks Frances!

Fuscous Honeyeaters hanging out poolside.

Joined by a friend.

Drying off after a splash!White-naped Honeyeaters move in.

 

Tarrangower cactus warriors honoured again with national Froggatt Award

Posted on 2 January, 2019 by Frances

They’ve lured university students, local scouts and even Work for the Dole crews into their scheme to rid invasive wheel cactus from their part of Victoria, and now a little community group in central Victoria has received a national Froggatt Award. 

‘The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group have gone to extraordinary lengths to turn the tables on wheel cactus, a weed that escaped gardens in the 1960s and began taking over local bushland,’ Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox said when announcing the award.

‘Their passion for protecting the natural environment from wheel cactus, a highly invasive and extremely difficult plant to kill, has roped all sorts of people into their program. University students, local scouts and even drought relief and Work for the Dole crews have all joined the cause to rid the area of wheel cactus.’

The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group has contributed to state and national policy development, including the first-ever Victoria-wide map of wheel cactus and the Managing Opuntoid Cacti in Australia manual.

Scroll through this gallery for photos of their amazing work.

Froggatt awards were also given this year to an intrepid band of bushwalkers who led a feral horse protest walk all the way from Sydney to Mt Kosciuszko and to the creators of a green-haired Biosecurity Warrior.

About the Froggatt Awards

Invasive species have become one of the biggest threats facing Australia’s natural environment, but their continued arrival and spread is all too often neglected as a conservation issue.

The Froggatt Awards are given out by the Invasive Species Council every year and are named in honour of Australian entomologist Walter Froggatt, a lone voice in the 1930s warning of the dangers of releasing the cane toad into Australia to control beetle infestations in sugar cane.

The awards are given to those who have made a major contribution to protecting Australia’s native plants and animals, ecosystems and people from dangerous new invasive species.

More information

 

Learn about blackberry and rabbit control with Macedon Ranges Shire Council

Posted on 2 January, 2019 by Frances

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is running free workshops on blackberry and rabbit control.

Blackberry control workshop

Blackberry is now beginning to flower in central Victoria. Effective weed control involves a whole community effort. If everyone does a little bit we will be on target to minimise the spread of this invasive noxious weed. Join leading experts in weed control to learn about how to treat Blackberry on your property. The event will include a light lunch and demonstrations of management techniques to get you started.

When: Saturday 23 February 2019 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: Gisborne Administration Centre, 40 Robertson St, Gisborne VIC

RSVP required. For information and bookings: click here

Rabbit control workshop

Did you know that feral rabbits can breed from the age of four months and at any time of the year? Feral rabbits compete with native wildlife, damage vegetation and degrade the land. Hear from pest animal experts on the best steps towards control.

When: Saturday 16 March 2019 | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Where: Romsey Community Hub, 98 Main St, Romsey VIC

For information and bookings: click here

 

Snake and reptile workshop – 19 January 2019

Posted on 20 December, 2018 by Jacqui

Join Connecting Country and Muckleford Catchment Landcare on Saturday 19 January 2019 from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm to learn about snake ecology and behaviour. Snakes play an important role in healthy ecosystems, snacking on frogs and smaller reptiles and providing a food source for larger predators. Find out what makes good snake habitat, how we can protect snakes, as well as keep our pets and families safe!

The workshop will include an opportunity to meet real live snakes. However this activity is optional.

This is a family-friendly event held at a property in Muckleford, VIC. All are welcome. Morning tea will be provided.

RSVP is essential. For bookings and more information contact Jacqui Slingo by email at jacqui@connectingcountry.org.au or phone 03 5472 1594.

A flyer on the workshop is available here.

This workshop has been made possible by funding from the North Central Catchment Management Authority.

 

 

Learn to use the Atlas of Living Australia – 4 February 2019

Posted on 20 December, 2018 by Frances

The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is a collaborative, national project that collects biodiversity data from multiple sources, and makes it freely available and usable online.

Hepburn Shire and the Victorian Gorse Taskforce have organised a forum to explore the potential of the Atlas of Living Australia for local weed and other environmental projects.

The forum will include two sessions:

Atlas of Living Australia in the field
An interactive session for how to use the ALA in the field. This session will be of interest for those individuals, groups and contractors who need to map the occurrence of native or exotic plants or animals and/or have a database for their environmental monitoring data.

Atlas of Living Australia as a planning tool
Learn how the ALA can be used by individuals and groups to plan, manage and document natural resource management projects and for project design, strategic planning and policy development at landscape scales. This session will focus on how you can use the ALA for weed control, biodiversity management, local government planning, etc.  (e.g., how the ALA can assist you in organising a weed control program in an area).

Forum: Using the Atlas of Living Australia
Date:    Monday 4 February 2019
Times:  10.00 am  to 1.00 pm – Session 1
              1.00 pm to 2.00 pm – Lunch and display
              2.00 pm to 5.00 pm – Session 2
Venue: Victoria Park, Corner Ballan Rd and Burrall St, Daylesford VIC

Bookings are essential via https://www.trybooking.com/ZZSO or call Hepburn Shire on 5348 2306.

You can choose to book for Session 1 or Session 2 or both sessions.  Lunch is provided.  Please advise dietary requirements

A flyer for the event is available here.

Presenter profile

Peter Brenton is based with the CSIRO in Canberra and has worked with the Atlas of Living Australia since 2009. For the past six years he has lead the ALA’s work to develop and implement tools which support the many and varied needs of field-based data collection by the ecological and citizen science communities. He is particularly interested in making the efforts of citizen scientists and the data which they collect more visible, relevant and accessible in areas where they can have great impact.