News

Birds to be recorded

By Country News

The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority is calling all bird watchers and Strathmerton region residents to share sightings of endangered bird species.

Part of the CMA’s Linking Lower Goulburn Project, the organisation is looking to survey bird numbers and locations during November and December, looking at bird species such as superb parrots, grey-crowned babblers and bush-stone curlews.

The project works with landholders to improve habitat for wildlife with grants available for fencing remnant vegetation, linking remnants with new vegetation and conducting weed control to encourage regeneration of native vegetation.

The project follows a similar survey conducted in 2016 by well-known ecologist Chris Tzaros.

‘‘This survey will not only try to ascertain the presence of these species and whether they’ve responded to revegetation works that have been done since the last survey, but it’s also an opportunity to talk to landholders in the area, and ask about their observations of the types of habitat the birds are seen in and around,’’ Goulburn Broken CMA project officer Janice Mentiplay-Smith said.

Mr Tzaros will also be surveying paddock trees in the area, the importance of which Ms Mentiplay-Smith said were often overlooked.

‘‘They are crucial for wildlife — one large paddock tree can be regarded as a giant supermarket for birds like the grey-crowned babbler, which is a bird that spends a lot of its time beneath old trees looking for invertebrates that live around the base of large trees.

‘‘Bush-stone curlews also rely heavily on large paddock trees.

‘‘As a primarily ground-dwelling bird, they spend their days safely hidden amongst fallen logs and timber, which accumulates beneath the trees, until they begin hunting for food at night.

‘‘A large tree is a one-stop-shop for these birds,’’ Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

‘‘It is safer and more energy-effective for a bird to only need to visit one tree, rather than many smaller trees.

‘‘Flying between trees increases the chances of predation.

‘‘Therefore, these single paddock trees, and the fallen branches they provide, are essential if we want to halt the local extinction of these birds.’’

The Linking Lower Goulburn project is funded through the Victorian Government’s Our Catchments Our Communities initiative.

■For more information, phone Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 5764 7506 or email janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au