A Grey-crowned Babbler habitat restoration project in 2002 has helped increase the habitat for woodland birds north of Strathmerton, and has helped halt the decline of Grey-crowned Babblers in the area.
Recent woodland bird surveys around Strathmerton indicate the population of Grey-crowned Babblers is now at a higher level, with around 50 birds, compared to 44 birds in 1998.
Bird observer and Moira Shire Council Natural Resources Officer, Gary Deayton said this is very encouraging as the population in the area was considered to be in serious decline following the 1998 surveys.
“There is still a long way to go before the population of these birds is at a sustainable level but the habitat enhancement work done back then and in the future will certainly provide the best opportunity for the bird’s survival,” Mr Deayton said.
Jim Castles from the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA), who managed the project while employed by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the aim of the 2001-2002 Strathmerton Grey-crowned Babbler habitat restoration project was to protect and provide habitat (through revegetation) for the threatened Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis) and other woodland birds in the area.
“The idea was to provide wide vegetated corridors through paddocks and along roadsides to allow Grey-crowned babblers to disperse through the area, and to provide extra habitat and protection for Babblers and other Woodland bird species,” Mr Castles said.
“We provided financial incentives to a number of landholders in the area and they did the fencing and ground preparation prior to planting as part of the deal.”
“We were able to revegetate more than 60 hectares of land with indigenous tree and shrub species by planting tube stock, with assistance from Conservation Volunteers Australia, and by direct seeding native seed.”
“We collected seed from the area where possible and had plants propagated at a local nursery to make sure we were re-establishing habitat that was similar to what once would have occurred in the area. We even collected seed from Eastern Cottonbush (Maireana microphylla), a threatened species in Victoria, and planted more than 1,500 seedlings as part of the project.”
“We really have changed the landscape in the area – it is just amazing to drive along Ulupna Bridge Road now and see the difference. The trees and shrubs have established, some Acacias or wattles have died off, which is natural, and the plants are now regenerating. One of the most amazing things is that the native grasses have returned to areas that were once cropped due to the native grass seed source from the roadsides.” He said.
Mr Castles said it was also very pleasing to see the Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network working with landholders to protect and enhance habitat for threatened bird species as part of the Turquoise Parrot Project in the Warby Ranges and Glenrowan- Chesney Vale region, which is the last real stronghold of the Turquoise Parrot in Victoria.
The Turquoise Parrot Project is funded through the Victorian State Government Communities for Nature Grants.
For more information on the Turquoise Parrot Project ‘Practical Parrot Action’ or the Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network, please call Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 57 647 506, email email@example.com or visit www.brokenbooseycmn.com
Financial incentives are also available for eligible landholders to protect and improve the quality of remnant vegetation and wetlands on their properties through the Nationally Significant Wetland and Woodland Ecosystem Conservation Project, which is funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
For more information about the Nationally Significant Wetland and Woodland Ecosystem Conservation Project, please call Vanessa Campbell on 0419 258 105 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.