Welcome back to the Land Management and Biodiversity site for the first blog post of 2020. Many thanks to those of you that have been in touch over the Christmas and New Year Period to report pest animal sightings and to talk about the great work that continues on your properties to manage invasive species.
It’s great to have finally commenced on-ground works for the project. Please see below key updates and links to additional reading of interest:
- A professional vermin control contractor was approved prior to Christmas for the private property rabbit program. The contractor will be working directly with landowners from February to April to assist them with monitoring and control. Landowners that expressed interest and were visited in September 2019 for warren mapping will be contacted by the contractor in the next few weeks.
- To learn more about the components of a successful integrated rabbit control program (including the importance of seasonal timing), visit the PestSmart Rabbit page HERE.
- Surveys for deer and fox along the private property/public boundary of Kinglake National Park and Mount Disappointment State Forest were completed by Wurundjeri Narrap Rangers in November.
- Professional contractors commenced meeting with landowners (including a community drop-in session) and undertook some control works in the deer target area in November for two weeks. Six properties were a part of the initial program, and this number has now increased to 15 holdings. Contractors will return in May to continue control at the time of year when the greatest numbers are observed along the National Park and State Forest interface.
- A professional vermin control contractor was approved just prior to Christmas for the fox control program and will commence work next week, liaising directly with landowners within the target areas. Further reading on fox management is available HERE .
- Fox control on private properties near Toorourrong reservoir was undertaken in early January as part of the State government funded Conservation Futures program. This is the third and final year of funding for this program. The contractor removed 12 adult foxes, 3 juveniles and 3 feral cats. This number was considered to be quite low compared to previous years, with the contractor suggesting that the drought conditions may have contributed to a higher juvenile mortality rate.
- The project working group consists of representatives from all project partners and stakeholders, being City of Whittlesea, DELWP Mount Disappointment staff, Parks Victoria Kinglake National Park Rangers, Melbourne Water, Wurundjeri Narrap Team, Friends of Toorourrong, Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action group and community member representatives. The working group meets quarterly and will hold the first meeting for 2020 in two weeks time.
Neighbouring landowners are encouraged to work together, continuing their annual pest animal monitoring and control programs to ensure that assistance from the PAM project results in the most effective, landscape-wide reduction in pest animal impacts. For more information, contact the PAM project lead Katherine Whittaker
This project has been funded by the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure that Victoria’s natural environment is healthy, valued and actively cared for.