Australia’s most threatened species, the Orange-bellied Parrot, has not been sighted in this year’s survey along the Bellarine Peninsula, indicating its existence is still low.
The Orange-bellied Parrot (OBP) is a migratory bird, which breeds only in coastal south-west Tasmania and spends winter on the Victoria and South Australia coast.
Photo: BirdLife Australia, Chris Tzaros
Winter surveys were conducted for the parrot on the mainland, King Island and north-west Tasmania in May, July, and September, with nine birds in total counted on the mainland this year.
Bellarine Peninsula Orange-bellied Parrot Working Group Co-ordinator Craig Morley said despite there being no sightings in this year’s survey, there were OBP’s sighted in 2012 during the count.
“A juvenile was seen and photographed at Aireys Inlet in April, two adults were seen in July at Breamlea saltmarsh a week before the official survey and one adult was seen at Swan Bay during the September survey,” he said.
The OBP is listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999). BirdLife Australia Research and Conservation Officer, Chris Purnell, said there are less than 40 of the species thought to exist in the wild.
“There were nine birds counted this year which is the same as last year, but they were just at different sites and there is also the potential for two more birds to be added to the count once we have properly identified them as being OBP’s, as they can be easily confused with other species,” he said.
Mr Purnell said the OBP faces a range of threats including habitat loss, predators including cats and foxes, spread of noxious weeds, collisions with structures and inbreeding, due to small population and other genetic factors.
“The community can assist in the species’ survival by getting involved in on-ground works and habitat restoration at historical sites and breeding sites. Habitat restoration is especially important in Saltmarsh areas because they are historical sites.
“Saltmarsh communities were listed as threatened ecological communities this year so we hope this will help to increase the number of OBPs’s we see,” he said.
Mr Purnell said no federal government funding was received this year, so the community can also assist by donating to the restoration project.
“People can also participate in surveys during the winter and raise awareness of the critically endangered species among their community,” he said.
This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column
Posted in Beaches, Birds, Conservation, Dunes, Endangered animals, Native wildlife, Saltmarsh, Surf Coast | Leave a Comment »
Twenty-two volunteers from Lend Lease gave Torquay’s Fisherman’s Beach area a makeover this week, building a new pathway and pedestrian bridge, as well as planting 500 native plants in a rehabilitation area.
Lend Lease volunteers helped makover Fisherman’s Beach
The activities were led by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) as part of a range of environmental education and volunteering opportunities GORCC provides to schools and groups.
The new pathway provides a link from the Surf Coast Walk to the viewing deck above the Fisherman’s Beach kiosk, which provides great coastal views, with easy access to the kiosk for refreshments. A number of new picnic tables will be installed on the deck in coming weeks.
Environmental weeds along the bank to the north of the deck have been cleared and replaced with native tubestock.
Lend Lease’s Tanya Moscicki said the activity formed part of Lend Lease’s community day, which was established in 1996 to provide Lend Lease people with the opportunity to give back to the communities in which they live and work.
The volunteers planted 500 native plants in a rehabilitation area.
“The weather was amazing so it was great to get out and do something different in the sunshine – everyone enjoyed the day,” she said.
GORCC’s Coast Project Manager, Mike Bodsworth said partnering with volunteers enabled GORCC to achieve much more than would usually be possible.
“We estimate volunteers contribute around a quarter of a million dollars worth of work every year, from hooded plover monitoring and research projects, to weed control, planting, litter removal and construction.”
“Lend Lease’s team of volunteers also included qualified tradespeople, so it was an ideal chance to build some visitor facilities that have been on the drawing board for a while,” he said.
For more information about how you can get involved in GORCC’s volunteer program, watch the clip below or visit www.gorcc.com.au/volunteering
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Posted in Coast, Flora, GORCC, Indigenous plants, Managing the coast, Surf Coast Walk, Torquay, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Tagged beach, coast, collaboration, community, conservation, flora, native vegetation, protecting the coast, Torquay, volunteers | Leave a Comment »
Illegal littering constantly threatens the Surf Coast and you can do your bit and participate in a clean beach initiative to ensure a healthy coast for all.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) is partnering with Surf Coast Shire to organise a beach clean-up as part of the Take 3 initiative on the 29 November in Lorne.
Surfcoast Shire’s Cr David Bell together with GORCC’s Georgie Beale encouraging beachgoers to take 3 pieces of rubbish when they leave the coast this summer.
The message behind ‘Take 3′ is simple – a visit to the beach should involve swimming, lying on the sand and rubbish collection – and asks people to pick up three pieces of rubbish every time they leave the beach.
Surf Coast beaches are among some of the most beautiful in Australia and GORCC encourages the community to get behind this initiative, ensuring our coast remains healthy for all to enjoy.
GORCC Coastal Reserves Manager Rod Goring said rubbish dumped illegally on our beaches and coastal reserves causes harm to the environment and also threatens coastal flora and fauna.
“One problem is that a large amount of household waste is often disposed of in public bins provided for beachgoers.”
“Not only is this illegal, but it causes overflow and litter on our beaches that is not only visually horrible but threatens coastal flora and fauna and the marine environment,” Mr Goring said.
GORCC Conservation Supervisor Georgie Beale said litter, including fishing line, poses danger to beach nesting birds and other coastal and marine wildlife, and urges beachgoers to do their bit and keep our coast clean.
“Marine debris, particularly plastic, has a disastrous impact in our oceans and on marine life with some of the dead seals and birds washing up on the coast have swallowed or been strangled by plastic bags, fishing line, bits of nets and other rubbish.”
“With breeding season underway for our precious Hooded Plovers, it’s especially important we don’t leave rubbish lying around as Hoodie’s can become easily entangled in fishing line on the beach, and we’ve seen this happen in the past.”
“Visitors to the Surf Coast are encouraged to embrace the Take 3 initiative by picking up three pieces of rubbish as we leave the beach,” she said.
Beachgoers are urged to use the bins provided on the grassed foreshore areas and adjacent to sand areas to dispose of rubbish.
“By doing your bit and disposing of rubbish, you will be contributing to a healthy coast for everyone to enjoy,” Ms Beale said.
For information on the beach clean-up contact Georgie Beale on 0417 523 463
For information on the Take 3 initiative visit www.take3.org.au.
This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column
Posted in Beaches, entanglement, Environment, Hooded Plovers, Litter, Lorne, Marine debris, Rubbish, Surf Coast, Uncategorized | Tagged beach, beachgoers, coast, Coast Action/Coastcare, community, environment, litter, Lorne, protecting the coast, rubbish, Surf Coast, Surf Coast Shire | Leave a Comment »
Hilary Bouma (GORCC Education Activity Leader) and Byron Powell, Wathaurung elder.
Ninety students joined some special guests at a coastal forum in Torquay this week to celebrate of a year of coastal conservation achievements.
Year nine students from four regional schools came together at the environmental education forum which is held each year as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coast Guardians Program.
GORCC Community Liaison Manager Jane Rowlands said the forum celebrated the significant contribution the students have made over the past year to the local coastal environment.
Phil Armato (Fisheries Victoria) shows a wobbegong shark jaw to Lorne P-12 College student, James Wainwright.
“The day included interactive activities and challenges, prominent guest speakers, student presentations and prizes and giveaways.
This year’s guest speakers and special guests included:
• Wathaurung aboriginal elder Bryon Powell
• Phil Armato: manager of Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre for Fisheries Victoria. Previously worked at the RSPCA and Zoos Victoria.
• Dr Kate Charlton-Robb: founding director and principal researcher at the Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation. Researcher, lecturer, campaigner, and discoverer of the unique species of Port Phillip Bay Dolphins called Burrunan Dolphins.
The day has been designed to increase and extend understanding on topics students have covered over the last twelve months including aboriginal culture, coastal animals and plants and threats to and management of, the natural coastal environment.
“We hope that these Coast Guardians will now graduate to become ongoing ambassadors for our beautiful and fragile coast,” said Ms.Rowlands.
Students received thank you gift packs donated by Quiksilver and, spot prizes donated by other local businesses.
“GORCC thanks Quiksilver and other local businesses for supporting this very special program and for recognising the achievements of these students who are making a very real difference to the environment.
The GORCC Coast Guardians Program sees four schools take ownership of the rehabilitation and conservation of four sites. Schools involved are:
• Lorne Aireys P-12 College
• Geelong Lutheran College
• Northern Bay College
• Surf Coast Secondary College
“This is a long term program where students, mainly year 9s, look after a specific site between Torquay and Lorne over 5 years.
“The Coast Guardians Program aims to relate work undertaken on the ground to the school curriculum, linking to subjects such as science, outdoor education and community volunteering,” said Ms. Rowlands.
For more information on the Coast Guardians Program visit http://www.gorcc.com.au.
Posted in Coast, Coastal biodiversity, Conservation, Cultural heritage, Environmental Education, Fauna, Flora, GORCC, Schools, students, Uncategorized | Tagged c | Leave a Comment »
Ford employees descended on the coast last month and planted over 1000 plants along the Anglesea River as part of their community service program.
Ford volunteers with Evan Francis from GORCC’s conservation team. Photo: Abhishek Sharma.
The 34 volunteers, who work in the Powertrain Installation subdivision of Ford, planted about 1000 Coastal Saltmarsh plants alongside the river in a Coastal Saltmarsh area.
The activities were led by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) as part of a range of environmental education and volunteering opportunities GORCC offers to schools and groups.
Ford Senior Development Engineer Alison Bridger said the activities formed part of the Ford 16 hour community service program and the eighth annual Ford Global Week of Caring.
“Ford Motor Company provides salaried employees with the opportunity to spend two days per year volunteering in the community.
“Our team of engineers planted trees, built protective fencing and learnt about the local Coastal Moonah Woodland restoration projects.
“Mike and Evan from the GORCC conservation team taught us about the types of trees we were planting and protecting and explained what an important part of the local coastal environment they are,” she said.
Ford volunteers planting at Anglesea. Photo: Abhishek Sharma.
Ms Bridger said everyone enjoyed the chance to get out of the office for a day.
“The work was muddy and exhausting, but very satisfying.”
Anyone can get involved in coastal volunteering. Its fun, a great way to meet people and it has health benefits too.
GORCC Coast Project Manager Mike Bodsworth said volunteering provides hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of assistance to GORCC each year, mainly through conservation work.
“It’s also a great way for us to build and maintain relationships with local people,” he said.
The many environmental volunteer groups that operate along the GORCC managed coast are always looking for more members, even those able to lend a hand for an hour or two.
“Volunteering is a perfect way to ‘give back’ to the coast you love.
“Getting outside, doing something worthwhile and getting your hands dirty also has multiple health benefits and brings a sense of satisfaction,” Mr. Bodsworth said.
For more information on coastal environmental volunteering visit www.gorcc.com.au or call 5220 5055.
This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast Column
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Posted in Anglesea, Beaches, Coast, Community, Conservation, Environment, Flora, GORCC, Managing the coast, Surf Coast, Volunteers | Tagged Anglesea, biodiversity, blog, coast, Coast Action/Coastcare, collaboration, community, conservation, environment, flora, GORCC, healthy coast, protecting the coast, volunteers | Leave a Comment »
The second Bell Street Fiesta is set to explode with a fun filled day of events, activities, stalls and entertainment for all ages as part of the Drink Art Food Torquay (DAFT) Weekend.
The street will come alive on Saturday October 12th with 5 hours of non-stop entertainment for all the whole family. Activities on the day will include:
- Beer, wine and coffee appreciation tastings
- Local produce tastings
- Art Exhibitions
- A Farmers Market
- Fashion parades
- A variety of engaging stalls
- An array of kids activities
The Great Ocean Road Committee (GORCC) is hosting an interactive, environmental education stall at on the day.
Eco-Logic Education and Environmental Services have been comissioned by GORCC to set up the stand which will featuure a range of fun activities for all ages.
Activities include quizzes, ‘Spot the Hoodie games’, story book reading and plasticine fun.
All the fun will take place in Bell Street Torquay, commencing at 11am.
Click Here to check out the weekend program filled with events, activities and entertainment for all ages.
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Posted in Art and sculpture, Beaches, Coast, Coastal activities, Coastal biodiversity, Community, Conservation, Dunes, Environment, Environmental Education, Food, Forum for Coastal Volunteers, GORCC, Hooded Plovers, Marine environment, Oceans, Organic Food, Schools, students, Sustainable eating, Top 10, Torquay, Tourism, Uncategorized, Volunteers, Weeds and native vegetation | Tagged beach, blog, caravan parks, coast, communication and engagement, community, GORCC, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, healthy coast, passion, projects, Surf Coast, Torquay, tourism, volunteers | Leave a Comment »