Hot off the Press – Eucalypts of Whittlesea

The City of Whittlesea has produced a local guide to the Eucalypts of Whittlesea. The booklet will help you identify 18 indigenous and 3 non-indigenous species commonly found in the municipality. Clear photos of key features of individual species will have you identifying eucalypts in no time!

Click here to download a copy for yourself or contact the Land Management and Biodiversity Team on 9217 2471 and we’ll post out a hard copy to you.

EucBookCover

Upcoming Events: July/August

There’s something for everyone! See below link to four upcoming events in July/ August.

Sunday 30 July-  National Tree Day: A great day out for the whole family to celebrate National Tree Day. Click here for more details.

Sunday 6 August-   FREE Pest Animal Control Workshop: Hosted by the Friends of Toorourrong, join as at Toorourrong Reservoir Park to learn more about the impacts and management of feral animals. Click here for more information and details to register.

Tuesday 15 August-   Eden Park Bushfire Mitigation Plan: A Stakeholder Engagement Workshop to help shape the Plan by building upon local knowledge, click here for more information and details on how to register your interest.

Saturday 26 August-   The Annual Agribusiness Dinner. An event not to be missed, click on the below Eventbrite link to purchase your ticket or click here for the flyer.

Eventbrite: Agribusiness Dinner

 

 

Course: Habitat Conservation and Management

This 16-week course teaches land management practises to conserve, protect and restore indigenous Australian flora and fauna.

The course presents and discusses the best planning tools and management techniques available and includes plant identification, bush ecology, weed control, soils & climate, invertebrates, the use of fire, site assessment and planning, and many more.

Presenters include Darcy Duggan, Randall Robinson, George Paras and Gidja Walker.

  • Dates: 8 August – 21 November 2017
  • Times: Tuesday evenings (6.30-9.30pm) + 8 Saturday field trips (approx. 10am-4pm)
  • Locations: La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary (Tuesday evening sessions); various locations across the Port Phillip region (Saturday fieldtrips)
  • Cost: NRM Professionals – $2,000; Friends of/Landcare Volunteers – $1,000 (plus GST). This includes course materials and light refreshments for the evening sessions)

For more information: Danny Reddan, phone: (03) 9450 5300; email: DReddan@greeningaustralia.org.au

Click here to download a flyer (pdf)

New Information Pages Available!

Our little blog Elf has been very busy of late uploading information under the various menu tabs above. While our blog elf continues to work hard bringing sustainable land management and biodiversity information to your fingertips, feel free to have a browse. Let us know if there’s something you’d like to see added (he’s a happy elf, so no job is too big).

A reminder to send any of your property photos, wildlife sightings or ‘blogs’ through so we can share it on your behalf with our growing online community.

Mattocks at the ready: Parks Vic tackle Artichoke at Plenty Gorge

Parks Victoria are currently receiving much-needed funding from ‘Rivers to Ranges’, a joint project between Whittlesea, Nillumbik and Minningham Councils. This state government initiative funds weed control works on public land to protect key biodiversity assets in the region, which for us, is Plenty Gorge Parklands. Ranger Kirraly was kind enough to provide some information on the works locations and photos, read more below:

Wiltonvale area west of the plenty river (Mernda). With the assistance of funding from the ‘Rivers to Ranges’ project, 68 hectares containing scattered Artichoke Thistle were treated by Parks Victoria Rangers and contractors here in 2016. The purpose of this work is to assist with the restoration of this area to the open grassy woodlands that it once was. This section of the park contains some significant and very old River Red gums, and future supplementary plantings of this species are planned by Parks Victoria.

Tanunda Wetlands – west of Plenty River (Mill Park). 11 hectares of artichoke thistle was treated in 2016. On-going control of weeds in this area will protect the sensitive Tanunda wetlands adjacent to the site, which provides critical habitat for many birds and wildlife.

Over the next couple of months, the Rivers to Ranges project will again be funding extensive Artichoke Thistle control to protect our high value Morang Wetlands, focussing on the Wiltonvale area near Carome homestead. Parks Victoria Rangers will be doing a lot of in-house thistle control using spray rigs, nap saks and digging with mattocks.

Council’s annual Artichoke Thistle Education program is also now underway, with compliance mapping commencing in  mid-July for approximately 120 properties across the municipality. For more information, contact katherine.whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

Field Day: Using Native Grasses to Control Erosion

When: Thursday 29 June 2017 from 10am – 2pm

Where: 60 Stockdale Road, Darraweit Guim/Wallan

Who/what: Rhonda Petschel (a member of the UMCG) has over the last two years attempted to reduce land degradation and erosion on her (and partner Rob’s) property by using coir logs and planting native grasses, which also provide fodder for her horses.

Presenters: Rhonda Petschel and Clem Stumfels, an experienced soil conservation scientist from Agriculture Victoria

Cost: free for Landcare group members ($100 for others)

For more details and to register, click here.

 

It’s Tussock Termination Time!

STplants

The state government is currently running their annual Serrated Tussock compliance program. Approximately 60 properties within the municipality are a part of the program and will shortly receive notices from the regional biosecurity officer. For larger properties with significant infestations, a site inspection followed by control is required to be undertaken by mid-August. For smaller properties, particularly in the residential areas of Whittlesea-township, notices will be sent out in August reminding landowners that it’s time to do their work.

Councils Land Management Team will be assisting the regional biosecurity officer in efforts to engage landowners and to register reports received from community members. Our annual roadside management program for Serrated Tussock will also be undertaken between July and August. If you’d like to report Serrated Tussock you’ve noticed on a property or the roadside, contact Katherine Whittaker on 9217-2147 or Katherine.whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

 

Whittlesea’s Koala’s: Where Are They?

 

The Koala is an iconic species, and compared to northern Australia, the population in Southern Victoria is doing relatively well. Despite their perceived security in Victoria, there is mounting evidence that while some populations are increasing, others are in decline. Koala’s across Australia are threatened by habitat destruction, fragmentation, disease (Chlamydia), drought/climate change, mortality from vehicles and dogs and prescribed burns and wildfire. For those populations with high densities, over-browsing resulting in the defoliation of their favourite food trees is a major concern and one of the issues addressed in the Victorian Government’s Koala Management Strategy. In these circumstances, translocation of animals may be necessary. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria recently coordinated a translocation of 435 Koala’s from French Island to Kinglake National Park (see photos). French Island is recognised as an important source of disease free Koala’s to bolster mainland populations. The translocated animals can be identified by their coloured ear tags and may enter our municipality where suitable habitat exists.

In Whittlesea, Koala records are sparse and the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas (http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/environment-and-wildlife/biodiversity/victorian-biodiversity-atlas) contains only 13 records of this species within the municipality.  Council staff recently recorded a koala via a remote-sensing camera near Toorourrong Reservoir, a significant sighting given the rarity of this species in Whittlesea. If you record this species, please contact Council’s Biodiversity Officer (Ruth Marr) on 9217 2025 or ruth.marr@whittlesea.vic.gov.au.  Detailed information including, location description, GIS co-ordinates, tree species koala recorded within and presence of ear tags would be very useful.

 

Koala translocation photos courtesy Vivian Amenta (DELWP).

Farm Chemical Users Course, Don’t Miss Out

ACUP

Just over one week until our 2-day Farm Chemical Users Course commences. Don’t miss out on your ticket, you’ll need to successfully complete this course in order to apply for an Agricultural Chemical Users Permit. Follow the below link to our previous post, with details on how to register at this heavily discounted rate for City of Whittlesea residents only.

See you there.

Farm Chemical Users Course: Register now!