Trees

Marsupials call new ‘mansions’ home

Wednesday 8 May, 2013
Endangered native fauna, such as the brush-tailed phascogale as well as sugar and squirrel gliders will benefit from nest boxes built at the Marsupial Mansions Field Day held at Heathcote Community House on Sunday (May 5).

Endangered native fauna, such as the brush-tailed phascogale as well as sugar and squirrel gliders will benefit from nest boxes built at the Marsupial Mansions Field Day held at Heathcote Community House on Sunday (May 5).

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Conservation Management Network (CMN) co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said more than 70 people attended the event, which was a collaboration between the Whroo Goldfields CMN and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI).

"DEPI's Dan Pendavingh gave a Bush Tender presentation in the morning to local Bush Tender landholders before we headed to Dargile Forest, about 10km from Heathcote, where Chris Tzaros from BirdLife Australia was another guest speaker," Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

"Chris is always a popular speaker and has been instrumental in planning projects in the Whroo Goldfields CMN. For example, Chris's input was invaluable in planning the 'Yellow Gums and Goldfields' project the CMN received Communities for Nature funding for from (the then) Department of Sustainability and Environment.

"Part of that project included planning how and where to restore habitat for native fauna such as the brush-tailed phascogale, the sugar glider and the squirrel glider, which was the aim of Sunday's Marsupial Mansions Field Day."

Ms Mentiplay-Smith said a qualified childcare supervisor, Adam Lindenfox, accompanied the group on the forest field trip and entertained the children with environmental treasure hunts, colouring in, songs and games, while adults listened to Mr Tzaros and Mr Pendavingh.

Whroo Goldfields CMN member Orlando Talamo also gave nest box monitoring demonstrations before the group headed back to the community house to enjoy a lunch of locally sourced and made free-range sausages, sauces, chutneys, sourdough bread and salads provided by the Heathcote Farmers Market Committee.

"Orlando had prepared nest box kits which eager participants put together after lunch and could then take home; they were a great hit, so the Whroo Goldfields CMN may plan more nest box building days like this," Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

"We were really pleased with the turnout – as well as plenty of locals, people came from Melbourne, Euroa, Benalla and Wangaratta - with more than half of those attending new to CMN events and keen to sign up with us."

For more information about Whroo Goldfields CMN, one of five CMNs in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, phone Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 5761 1644, email janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au or visit www.whroogoldfieldscmn.com

Chris Tzaros speaking to the crowd at the Marsupial Mansions Field Day in Heathcote.