New homes for threatened and declining wildlife
The return of cooler weather and easing of fire restrictions has seen Network volunteers venture out into native woodland once again to install nest-boxes as part of our ongoing project to improve the quality of habitat for threatened and declining wildlife.
Target species for this round of installations include the Brush-tailed Phascogale ‑ a small, tree-dwelling marsupial ‑ and two iconic Australian birds, the Southern Boobook Owl (commonly called the ‘Mopoke’) and the Laughing Kookaburra or ‘Jackass’.
The focus of our work is remnant forest that lacks the tree hollows these species need for shelter, protection from predators and breeding. So far, over 80 nest-boxes have been installed in remnant woodland on private properties in the north-central region, which is well on the way to achieving our target of 200 installations by the end of 2020.
Funded by the Victorian Government, the Kara Kara CMN’s nest-box project is part of a wider habitat improvement program that also involves revegetation works and community engagement activities.
Above: A recently-installed Kookaburra nest-box on private land at Carapooee, near St Arnaud.
Above: Dr Adam Miller of Deakin University explains the latest research on Silver Banksia genetics.
Silver Banksia news...
The Silver Banksia Project is a collaborative program involving conservation groups across much of Victoria; from Victoria’s volcanic plains to the west of Melbourne through central Victoria to the State’s north-east.
In early April, representatives from the Kara Kara CMN and other groups from as far north as central NSW travelled to Dunkeld at the southern end of the Grampians to participate in a Banksia Forum hosted by the Friends of the Forgotten Woodlands (FFW). Focussing on the FFW’s experiences working on Victoria’s volcanic plains, we had the opportunity to visit their Banksia Seed Production Area near Dunkeld and hear the latest research on Silver Banksia genetics and biology.
Learnings from the day will help the Kara Kara CMN and other groups in our efforts to save this beautiful native species.
Landmate crews lend a hand
Finding enough volunteers for our on-ground projects is always a challenge, especially those tasks that require a specific skill-set. So this year, for the first time, the Kara Kara CMN has taken a slightly different approach, taking advantage of the free labour available for government-funded projects under the Victorian Justice Department’s ‘Landmate’ environmental program.
This long-standing program sees supervised prison work crews from correctional centres around rural Victoria provide a range of environment-related services on funded projects, from fencing and revegetation works to weed and feral pest control.
Over the course of a week in February 2019, crews from the Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat erected stock-exclusion fencing on two farming properties at Beazley’s Bridge and Rostron on the western side of the St Arnaud Range. The work was undertaken as a prelude to our winter revegetation works, which will see several thousand plants put in the ground by volunteers to improve linkages between areas of remnant forest and facilitate wildlife movement through the landscape.
The Landmate crew did a great job in what was a ‘win-win’ all round: for the environment, the Kara Kara CMN, and the prisoners who had the opportunity to learn new skills while contributing to the community.
Top - A newly fenced and ripped area in preparation for our 2019 revegetation program. Bottom - A Landmate crew prepares for work.
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Page last reviewed: 17/4/2019