Emu

Community celebrates 1000th home for Whroo-Goldfields native species

Friday 31 March, 2017
Students from Tooborac Primary School joined celebrations to mark the 1000th nest box installed in the Whroo-Goldfields box-ironbark forest on March 29.

At the beautiful Dargile camping ground near Heathcote, the students, local landholders and representatives from Mandalay Resources, Parks Victoria, local businesses and community groups took part in a morning tea provided by Heathcote CWA and a bush walk organised by the Whroo Goldfields Conservation Management Network (CMN) to mark the milestone.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority CMN Co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said the event was a way to mark the many achievements of the project and thank everyone who had supported it over the past seven years.

“The key to the project’s success is the local community who have thrown their weight behind the project – whether it’s building the nest boxes, installing them in public areas or on private land, taking part in education and awareness days or monitoring them,” she said.

“We wanted to acknowledge their efforts and help keep the momentum going so we can continue to build these homes that provide valuable habitat for threatened native species such as brush-tailed phascogale and sugar gliders.”

As well as acknowledging the support of the community Ms Mentiplay Smith paid special tribute to Whroo-Goldfields CMN President Orlando Talamo, who carries out most of the nest box monitoring and is a key driver behind the project.

Member for Euroa Steph Ryan, who unveiled the 1000th nest box with Mr Talamo, said she continued to hear lots of good things about the project when visiting the area and that it was a terrific example of a community working together to protect and improve the region's natural values.

Guest speaker and walk guide Bush Birds and Beyond Ecologist Chris Tzaros spoke about how the lack of old trees, due to past clearing practices, meant there were very few natural hollows for native species to shelter and breed in.

“That’s why these artificial hollows are so important – and we know they’re being used – Orlando often reports that within a few weeks of a new lot of nest boxes being installed, native marsupials have moved in,” he said.

Monitoring last year found almost 60 per cent of the nest boxes were being used.

 To find out more about the project, contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au or 5764 7506.