Welcome to the first edition of the Landcare Vine. This is really just a revamped version of the old SOLN eNews, but with a hopefully more catchy title and a greater diversity of content!
We’re very pleased to welcome Georgia Tsaikos to the Southern Otway Landcare Network as our Green Army Team Leader. Georgia has worked extremely hard to get our team of 5 participants up and running in a very short time frame. We are currently in the first of 3 six month projects. This project focuses on works in the catchment of the Barham River and the Conservation Ecology Centre at Cape Otway. The first week has seen crew work on seed collection and the propagation of cuttings to support our upcoming revegetation projects. From September this year we will move our focus to habitat restoration on the Great Ocean Road National Heritage Place. We expect that this work will include establishing nest boxes throughout the fire affected areas of Wye Rive and Separation Creek.
Recruitment for the projects is ongoing so if you know someone who is aged between 17 – 24 and is looking for some onground experience in the beautiful Otways, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org. We are finding that affordable, available accommodation is proving a significant barrier to attracting participants so if you have anything to offer we would love to hear from you.
Alison Pouliot is back again this year on April 16. The cool Otway Forests are home to an incredible diversity of fungi. With their peculiar forms and amazing array of colours, fungi make intriguing photographic subjects. This workshop extends knowledge from fungus workshops and surveys held in the region over the past six years.
Participants will learn how to photograph fungi in different contexts to capture both their scientific and aesthetic nature. We will focus on the particular challenges of macro-photography such as high contrast, low light, colour and issues and techniques for controlling depth of field, addressing both technical aspects of exposure management and creative aspects of composition. Photographs are also an important part of the scientific survey of fungi. Images contribute to knowledge of the distribution and ecology of fungi. Requirements for taking appropriate images for scientific data repositories will also be discussed. Photography boffins welcome, even if not interested in fungi (like it’s even possible to not be interested in fungi)! Following an indoor interactive theoretical session, the afternoon will be spent in the field putting techniques into practice. Cost $75. Lunch will be provided. Bring good walking shoes and a coat in case of rain. Enquiries and bookings to email@example.com.
The Southern Otway Landcare Network are taking orders for Nest Boxes. Nest boxes provide habitat for birds and mammals, replacing the hollows provided by old, mature trees. Hollows provide shelter, protection from predators and places to roost, however they are typically found in mature trees 100 – 200 years old. If you are using nest boxes to replace naturally occurring hollows, it is important to consider which species you are hoping to provide habitat for. Arboreal (tree dwelling mammals) use them for breeding dens and shelter, while owls use them for day time roosting and rearing chicks. Nest boxes are also important for microbats whose insectivorous diet makes them a good friend to gardeners. As a result, there are a number of different next box designs for different types of animal. We can provide boxes bats, gliders, possums and a variety of bird species. Boxes are made locally and a basic model costs $50. or an extra $10 we invite you to sponsor a species of your choice. We will customise the box entry to suit your chosen species and your sponsorship will support SOLN’s wildlife monitoring programme. This spectacularly cure image of a feathertail glider is courtesy of http://www.zoo.org.au/news/colour-my-world-tiny-glider where you can read about changes in their tagging technology.
Recently opened grant opportunities include Coastcare and a second round of the Threatened Species Initiative. We have spoken to a number of you about these programmes and are in the process of preparing projects. Coastcare supports conservation projects on private and public land with public benefit outcomes. These are small projects from a small funding round. Please contact the office for more details. The Threatened Species Initiative is focused on monitoring and habitat restoration for Threatened Species and has a strong focus on community involvement and volunteering.
Site assessments are currently taking place for the CCMA’s River Health Programme. Because of delays in the implementation of the programme, there will be no 2016 revegetation for new projects. Successful projects will be undertaking fencing this year in preparation for planting in 2017. We’ve enjoyed visiting sites with Jannes Demetrious from the Catchment Management Authority and the opportunity to work directly on project design with the funding body and believe that this will generate better outcomes for everyone.
A new product has been approved for use in controlling dogs and foxes. The baits contain an active constituent called 4-aminopropiophenon (PAPP). These are restricted Schedule 7 poisons and use is restricted to appropriately trained and authorised persons. Please note that if you possess a standard ACUP, you ARE NOT authorised to use PAPP products. You must hold a 1080 endorsement to use the new baits.
Horses can present a major problem for land managers. Their highly selective grazing habits tend to result in a combination of over grazed areas and tall undergrazed areas around manure that become rank. These are called “horse sick” pastures. Over time, horse sick pastures can result in severe degradation of land health. Karen O’Keefe is the Regional Landcare Facilitator with the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and has been developing a Horse Landcare Programme. She is inviting horse owners to attend a session on Designing and Managing Your Horse Property with American expert Alayne Blickle on May the 17th. Details can be accessed on the link below.
All group executives are advised that it is time for local groups to hold their AGMs and appoint their representatives to the SOLN Committee of Management. This needs to occur ahead of the SOLN AGM which will be held in May / June.