**Correction of date** Future Opportunities and Challenges for Invasive Species Management- May 18

The previous post had incorrectly listed this event for the 26th May- It is on the 18th May.

The Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (WASBAG) together with the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce (VBT) invite you to a forum on Future Opportunities and Challenges for Invasive Species Management in Victoria. The forum will be held at the Whittlesea Golf Club in Humevale from 9:30am – 3:00pm.

The forum will present on:

  • the latest research on blackberry bio-control and modelling on deer population growth.
  • City of Whittlesea’s proactive weed control programs and incentives for sustainable land management for rural landowners.
  • Melbourne Water’s management of waterways and assistance for rural landholders
  • New and emerging issues in the region
  • WASBAG update

Click here to download a flyer.

This is a free event with morning tea and lunch provided. Bookings are essential.

For further information or to RSVP please contact Barton Roberts at vbt@vicblackberrytaskforce.com.au or on 0409 332 258 by May 10 2018.

Future Opportunities and Challenges for Invasive Species Management- May 18

On the 18th May the Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (WASBAG) together with the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce (VBT) invite you to a forum on Future Opportunities and Challenges for Invasive Species Management in Victoria. The forum will be held at the Whittlesea Golf Club in Humevale from 9:30am – 3:00pm.

The forum will present on:

  • the latest research on blackberry bio-control and modelling on deer population growth.
  • City of Whittlesea’s proactive weed control programs and incentives for sustainable land management for rural landowners.
  • Melbourne Water’s management of waterways and assistance for rural landholders
  • New and emerging issues in the region
  • WASBAG update

Click here to download a flyer.

This is a free event with morning tea and lunch provided. Bookings are essential.

For further information or to RSVP please contact Barton Roberts at vbt@vicblackberrytaskforce.com.au or on 0409 332 258 by May 10 2018.

 

Landcare Group is Launching

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We’re kicking off a new Landcare Group, and you’re invited!

Saturday 26 May, 4:00-5:30pm at the Whittlesea Tennis Club

(74 Laurel Street, Whittlesea)

Yummy afternoon tea provided

It would be great to see you there!

RSVP by 19 May to landcare@whittlesea.vic.gov.au or for more information

contact Jane Juliff on 0417 127 841

click here to download a flyer

 

So what is Landcare? It’s about community, conservation, productivity, resilience and leaving our place in a better way than we found it.

For you, Landcare can mean any number of things:

  • It’s a way to access people, advice, equipment and increased knowledge through community networking
  • Being connected with your community you can work with others to improve the condition of your own land and that of your neighbours
  • Your Landcare group can access funding and grants that are only accessible to community groups, providing funding for on-ground projects on private land
  • Landcare is open to individuals and families, regardless of the size of your property

Serrated Tussock Field Day- May 5

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party is hosting a best practice management field day on May 5th in Diggers Rest. Click here to download the flyer.

Serrated Tussock is not widespread in the rural areas of Whittlesea so any infestations are a high priority to act on quickly, especially given mature plants can produce up to 100,000 seeds per year! This will be a valuable event to learn about how to minimise the chances of it turning up on your property.

If you encounter any infestations on roadsides, they can be reported to Council’s Sustainable Land Management Officer, Mark Williams via email Mark.Williams@Whittlesea.vic.gov.au for treatment.

 

 

 

Final Call for Applications- Environmental Works Grant Program

Council’s Environmental Works Grant Program will close for applications at 5pm this Thursday 30th November.

Properties must be at least 2ha in size and zoned for rural land use (GWZ, GWAZ, RCZ)

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Funding is available for up to:

  • 330 indigenous plants for revegetation, or
  • $1500 for fencing of remnant vegetation including paddock trees, and around farm dams to exclude livestock, or
  • $1000 for a combination of revegetation, fencing of revegetation and nestboxes, or
  • $500 for environmental weed control within good quality remnant vegetation

Contact Mark Williams, Council’s Sustainable Land Management Officer, on 9217 2471 or mark.williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au for further information.

Click here to view the Environmental Works Grant Program on this site and the link to apply online.

 

Feathered Friends of Whittlesea

The City of Whittlesea has 3 upcoming bird events on the weekend 6-8th of October. All events are family friendly and free and provide an opportunity to learn about our  feathered friends. You don’t need any level of expertise to come along to the two bird walks- just an enthusiasm to learn from our guides from Birdlife Melbourne. Click below to download the flyer with links to register.

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Have you seen the Long-nosed Bandicoot?

Did you know that the Whittlesea municipality supports habitat for Long-nosed Bandicoots? This medium-sized nocturnal marsupial (about the size of a rabbit) has grey-brown fur, a short thin tail, pointy ears, and as the name suggests, a long nose.

 

You may never see this shy species but their presence may be detected through characteristic foraging signs- small cone-shaped holes in bushland and sometimes lawns and gardens. These holes are dug with the front feet and the snout is used to reach in and detect insects and other small invertebrate prey and hypogeal fungi.

Long-nosed Bandicoots were once widespread and common in forests, woodlands, and heaths of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria but their range and distribution has greatly reduced and in some areas they are now locally extinct.

This reduction in population abundance is occurring despite their capacity for reproduction (females can produce up to four litters per year and have a gestation period of only 12.5 days, one of the shortest known of any mammal), due to numerous threatening processes including, habitat loss and fragmentation, introduced predators (foxes, cats, and dogs), road kill, wildfires and inappropriate burning regimes. The Victorian population is considered to have declined but it does not have threatened species classification, most likely due to insufficient data.

Long-nosed bandicoots rely on a mosaic of vegetation, using open areas for foraging at night and requiring dense understorey vegetation for nesting during the day. The nest is usually made from grasses and other plant material in shallow depressions on the ground amongst thick vegetation. Maintaining areas of low dense understorey cover is critical for their survival.

Whittlesea has very few records of this species and the state-wide flora and fauna database (the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas) lists only seven records of this species between 1971 and 2013.

Long-nosed Bandicoot VBA records
The seven records of the Long-nosed Bandicoot in Whittlesea

 

Foraging signs have been observed recently in our municipality by Council staff and recent footage was captured by a Kinglake West resident- click here to view the footage.

You can help conserve this species and other native fauna by keeping your pets confined to your domestic area, particularly at night, and by not allowing them to roam into areas of potential habitat. If you’re one of the lucky residents that have them within your property, you could consider setting aside areas that provide habitat for native wildlife and establishing a separate area for your pets.  Undertaking integrated pest animal control (including foxes) across the landscape will also benefit this species and many other wildlife species.

If you see this species (live or dead animals) or indirect signs of its presence, please report the sightings (including the location description with GIS coordinates if possible, date and any other notes) to Ruth Marr, Council’s Biodiversity Planner, on 9217 2025 or ruth.marr@whittlesea.vic.gov.au. Records of this species can be submitted on your behalf to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.

Juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle sighting

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This photo was recently sent through from a landowner north of Whittlesea who stated that “This young eagle has appeared over the last few days. The photo was taken at the dam just east of the house. This morning he was accompanied by two Magpies who appeared to be giving him a hard time. Lovely to see him at the farm. Hope you enjoy it”

We certainly did enjoy it- thankyou for sending through!!

This young eagle has probably recently left the nest as young eagles depend on their parents for food for up to 6 months after hatching and only leave the nest when the next breeding season approaches (June-Oct).

The presence of a Wedge-tailed Eagles often causes panic among smaller birds, and as a result, aggressive species such as magpies, butcherbirds and noisy miners are often observed aggressively mobbing eagles to get them to move on somewhere else.

Wedge-tailed Eagles are Australia’s largest bird of prey with a wingspan of almost 3 metres and they are found across mainland Australia and Tasmania and into southern New Guinea and Indonesia across all habitat types.

We encourage you to send through your photos of local flora and fauna sightings with a few words – email to Mark.Williams@whittlesea.vic.gov.au

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.

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