New Habitat installed for Powerful Owls.
5 Sept a large 1m x 1m x 1m marine plywood nest box made by students of Hands on Learning Program at Brauer College was hauled up a tree in the St Helens Flora Reserve, a Parks Victoria site north of Port Fairy and West of Orford.
This little slice of “what was”is 28 hectares of forest that was set aside as a racecourse back in the 1860s. Its got plants and creatures living in it you wont find anywhere much between it and Budj Bim (west) or Framlingham Forest (east).
Powerful Owls are half a meter tall & live for over 30 years. They eat a possum sized meal every night and prefer forest. They are found in the Laang/Naringal area because of the good bush blocks there. But out west north of Port Fairy its pretty open country. You wont find these owls away from trees because their prey is there, and to breed they need trees that have a hollow a meter or more deep. To get a hollow that big you need a tree of over 100 years – and most of them are gone.
So yesterday was putting into a site with the food a place for a pair to breed – so that if there are young birds not breeding because they cant find a hollow – they might take this box over.
The activity was funded by Australian Bluegums Pty who have plantations nearby.
National Volunteering Week Local Business Featured
David and Susan Rowbottom have farmed at St Helens since the 1970s. During that period they, as volunteers for wildlife, have done something remarkable.
In a little parcel of Parks Victoria Land known as The St Helens Flora Reserve that is surrounded on three sides by their farm, they have HALTED AN EXTINCTION.
You might think that’s not possible, nothing will be going extinct there. Well, I can assure you, without the custodianship and habitat protection work of David and Susan at Rowensville Stud, St Helens there would probably be no Southern Brown Bandicoots left in that part of Moyne Shire.
Considering these animals used to be as common as rabbits when the early settlers started to clear land for farms- it has taken a while for them to head to extinction locally. But they need habitat, protection from foxes, feral cats, dogs – and safe places to breed. In most parts of this region those things for a small rabbit sized elusive animal have gone.
On Rowensville Stud you have a working, high quality sheep farm with bandicoots too. So this week they have been recognized in the Land For Wildlife Autumn News for services to volunteering for conservation.
Bringing Back Banksias
With funding from the Federal Government Environment Grants National Landcare Program, we have been able to do two important things for ecology, agriculture, and local businesses.
- Collect seed from a local cluster of endangered Silver Banksia trees at Minhamite growing wild on The Green Line Project (the old Koroit to Minhamite Railway Line) and get them grown by Worn Gundidj Nursery in Warrnambool.
- Offer them and other local trees/shrubs to land owners on either side of The Green Line to support sustainable ag, wildlife, and increase the range of places these special trees grow.
8000 Banksias and 8000 other plants have already been adopted -ready to be planted by the properties in August.
That’s good news for the future of these trees in our area!.
Partnering with ATO and CFA to help farmers
A new fact sheet “Fire Preparedness for Primary Producers” explains registered primary producer entitlement to claim income tax deductions for costs you incur on fire emergency preparedness prevention assets and activities on primary production land anywhere in Australia. Achieving this outcome is an example of the advocacy for positive change in agriculture The Basalt to Bay Landcare Network is a leader in. Download here Tax + others created relating to risk and farm asset protection.