Trees

BREAKFAST WITH THE BIRDS

Friday 4 May, 2012
The Whroo Goldfields Conservation Management Network (CMN) held their annual Biodiversity Celebration recently at the Whroo Historic Reserve, near Rushworth.The event was titled 'Breakfast with the Birds', with the theme being the wonderful birds we have in the Box Ironbark forests. A bird watching walk in the forest attended by 53 people was followed by a sumptuous cooked breakfast at the Rushworth Shire Hall, provided by the Rushworth Lions Club.

The Whroo Goldfields Conservation Management Network (CMN) held their annual Biodiversity Celebration recently at the Whroo Historic Reserve, near Rushworth.The event was titled 'Breakfast with the Birds', with the theme being the wonderful birds we have in the Box Ironbark forests. A bird watching walk in the forest attended by 53 people was followed by a sumptuous cooked breakfast at the Rushworth Shire Hall, provided by the Rushworth Lions Club.

Led by Chris Tzaros from Birdlife Australia, the large group managed to spot 29 species of birds, and listen to Chris talk about the habits of the various species, and the importance of the Box Ironbark forests in which they live.

After breakfast, Chris Tzaros spoke more about the species living in the Box Ironbark forests, and focused on the endangered Swift parrot which migrates from Tasmania each year to the region to feed on nectar. Other species like the Brush-tailed phascogale, a native marsupial that lives in the forests was also discussed. A carnivorous animal, the Brush-tailed phascogale relies heavily on tree hollows, which are unfortunately in short supply due to the forests being so 'young' as a result on heavy clearing and logging.

As Brush-tailed Phascogales need tree hollows in which to live and breed, the Whroo Goldfields CMN has been working hard to install and monitor 400 nest boxes in private and public land for the Phascogales. These boxes currently have a 30% occupancy rate, which demonstrates the need for and success of the nest boxes. This is an example of just one of the many programs the CMN has been operating to help improve the environment of the Whroo Goldfields region.

'Breakfast with the Birds' was funded by Parks Victoria through a 'Healthy Parks Healthy People' grant. These grants are supplied to groups such as the Whroo Goldfields CMN to help run days like this, and inform, educate and amaze the community about the environment.

The next Whroo Goldfields CMN activity is on Sunday September 9

th at Costerfield, where a planting morning will take place to help improve the biodiversity of a degraded site by planting native grasses and understory species.

If you would like to know more about the Whroo Goldfields CMN and receive regular activity updates, please contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 5761 1644 or email janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Photo: Participants in the Whroo Goldfields Breakfast with the Birds keeping an eye out in the trees.