You’re Invited: Presentation on the Ecology of the Southern Toadlet

Nillumbik Landcare Network invites you to attend a presentation on the Southern Toadlet presented by frog expert Craig Cleeland where you will learn about the ecology and habitat requirements of this rare species. This will be followed by an engaging workshop presented by James Frazer of Melbourne Water where you will learn some great tips and tricks for monitoring frogs using the Frog Census app.

Date: Saturday 24th February 2018

Time: Arrive 5:30pm for a cuppa and a bite to eat. Presentations start at 6pm, followed by a visit to Hurstbridge wetland about 7pm.

Venue: Hurstbridge Community Hub (50 Graysharps Rd, Hurstbridge)

Cost: Free

Food: A light supper will be provided

Please RSVP: colin.broughton@nillumbik.vic.gov.au or phone 9433 3372 by Tuesday 20th Feb

 

All welcome!

See flyer HERE for full details.

UPDATE: Pest Plant Education & Compliance Program

Council’s annual Blackberry Education and Compliance program is now in full swing. Earlier this summer, properties were sent a courtesy letter advising the commencement of the program and the requirement to control this noxious weed. For most land managers, this notice simply serves as a timely reminder to monitor and follow-up areas previously treated. Notices to comply will shortly be sent out to those properties yet to commence control.

This year, many land managers have chosen to sign-up to a voluntary 3-year property management plan offered by our local Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (W&SBAG) and their project officer on the ground, Chris. You’ll be seeing the farmgate signs going up all over the place no doubt (see photos below). If you haven’t signed up yet and you’re within the target areas of Kinglake West, Humevale and Whittlesea, you can contact Chris by email to schedule a site visit: ugln.projects@ugln.net

 

 

The annual Gorse program finished up recently and was a huge success. Only 35 properties were sent advisory notices, down from 66 properties in 2016. Of these, just 13 were issued notices to comply. The figures show that more and more property owners are recognising the benefits of integrated Gorse control, particularly from both a farm productivity and asset protection perspective. The image below shows very effective Gorse control on Commercial land in Wollert. While this land owner still has a way to go, it’s an impressive start and shows that the program seeks to engage commercial operators (as well as public land managers) to support the work private landowners are undertaking.

For further information, contact Councils Environment Protection Officer on 9217-2147.

Gorse Control

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Out: Get your Tickets today

This Saturday 25 November: Weed Control Networking Day

Hosted by the cities of Hume and Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire Council, the line-up includes presentations from:

  • Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party
  • Victorian Gorse Taskforce
  • Dabyminga Blackberry Taskforce
  • Tim Bloomfield: Pest Plant and Pest Animal Interactions
  • Pat Connor: Weed Seed Spread and Precautions (including a vehicle hygiene demonstration over lunch)
  • Whittlesea and Surrounds Blackberry Action Group
  • Melbourne Water on Landholder Assistance Programs

The event will be facilitated by Terry Hubbard of the Strath Creek Landcare Group, Upper Goulburn, Victorian and National Landcare Networks and 2017 recipient of the Joan Kirner Landcare Award.

There’ll be a FREE sausage sizzle of gourmet Aroona sausages (100% grass-fed, preservative free beef) cooked by the Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group.

So don’t miss out! Grab your ticket today using the following link:

www.weedday.eventbrite.com.au

 

‘Checking Biodiversity Matters’

We’d like to thank Mark for sending in this inspiring account of trials and tribulations of land management over nearly two decades in Beveridge..

“After building our house approximately 17 years ago we finally moved to our piece of paradise in East Beveridge hills on 21 Acres of mainly cleared land with north & east facing slopes 400m up in the winds….

We set about organizing the areas around the house &  fencing off areas in the paddock, got some cattle to hopefully keep the pastures in check & help pay the rates. It seemed like it should work even though we both had “real” day jobs…..

10 years later of drought, depleting pastures (to almost looking like desert in summer), trees falling over, growing kangaroo populations, the day jobs taking all our time (including travel ling away)  we realized if we wanted to live by the motto of “leave the land better than when you found it” we had to do something a lot better. We got rid of the cattle to start with.

Approximately 6 years ago we set about communicating with the council & learning their thoughts on what best to do to get the land repaired & back on track & perhaps even establish some agribusiness eventually. One step at a time & first things first.

We attended various landcare & council workshops/field days & applied for the EWG (Environmental Works Grant) to help revegetate remnant areas to provide flora & fauna pathways & shelterbelts also to connect gullies from neighbouring properties & repair the entire property.

We know it’s been proven building biodiversity helps the whole property to recover & build health again. We have planted around 2000 plants, fenced areas off revegetation to discourage kangaroos camping & encourage other flora fauna etc, repaired erosion & pastures.

EasternGrey
Eastern Grey Kangaroo

After the daily mob of 100 kangaroos or so got used to things & stopped killing every plant we put in we saw some progress & noticed an increase in small lizards & birdlife numbers. Then we saw more echidnas & unfortunately wombats. We hadn’t seen jacky lizards for years especially after back Saturday & suddenly one day there was 3 of them sitting on the old fallen tree amongst our reveg area.

All of this got us interested on how we can measure the new growth in total biodiversity. We needed to benchmark from this point & monitor how things are going to see we are on the right track. After many a discussion with the council sustainability guys, other landholders & spotting the odd phascogale & sugar gliders we agreed for council to install their cameras for a couple of weeks to see what we could find. Much to everyone’s delight phascogales were photographed proving the new environment is supporting rare species & helping grow the balance needed for all to succeed.

Glider
Sugar Glider

We have monitored reveg areas growth with drone camera & are now monitoring areas with our own wildlife camera & it’s opened our eyes to exactly how much more wildlife other than wombats & kangaroos are around. We knew they were there but how many?

We have seen significant growth in both vegetation & wildlife mainly in the past 2-3 years after areas finally got established & have also seen pastures next to these areas improve as well with no application of lime or chemicals yet. We have discovered more critters are out there than we imagined & will now continue to monitor all areas of interest including installing nesting boxes (also available through EWG) for the phascogales & gliders, bats etc.

Thanks to the councils team who have been inspiring & encouraging all the way during this time.

The pests are still about…”

Fox
European Fox

All photos courtesy of M. Traynor