World Wetlands Day 2004 -- Australia -- Victoria

05/01/2004

Metropolitan Branch of Field and Game Australia

Media Release

World Wetlands Day - 2 February 2004

Ramsar
From the Mountains to the Sea
Wetlands at work for Us

2004 in the City of Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia

Media inquires: John Caven, Conservation Officer
Anytime 9467-2905

For Release 9:00am, January 7, 2004


World Wetlands Day
February 2, 2004

From the mountains to the sea, wetlands work for us. Yet they still are drained, polluted, over-exploited and under-valued.

At this time each year groups from around the world convey to the world at large that our wetlands have a value and must be protected.

This day marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on the 2nd February 1971, in the Iranian City of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD was first celebrated in 1997.

Please take the time to visit the Ramsar Website -- there is a lot we can all learn about the value of wetlands. (Web site, ramsar.org)

This time of year in Victoria, Australia, summer is well underway, our native bird breeding cycle is coming to an end and as conservationists/hunters we are preparing to undertake maintenance on the nest boxes. Our nest box program which successfully replicate tree hollows to assist our native birds in and around our great wetlands.

Members of the Metropolitan Branch of Field and Game Australia will commemorate this occasion this year on 31 January 2004 by visiting wetlands, cleaning out nest boxes, replenishing straw all of which is aimed at improving the efficiency whilst educating the general community and informing all levels of government.

As a volunteer group, funding is obtained through grants, both local and state governments and through donations. Materials are purchased, a cutting day is held with members and nest boxes are assembled by young Australians from La Trobe University Lifeskills. (They build a great nest box)

A monitoring program is undertaken every 21 days to enhance efficiency of nest boxes to inform, educate promote partnerships/alliances with people and groups from all walks of life.

Metropolitan Branch of Field and Game Australia is managed by members of the City of Whittlesea community and has over 500 current members.

The members from the Metropolitan Branch welcome the Community to observe the Nest Boxes from a distance to allow nature to take its course undisturbed. It is extremely important that this observation be by the use of binoculars, as human activity close to Nest Boxes will deter the birds from breeding.

Mission Statement

Field and Game Australia is a voluntary organisation formed by hunters. We partner with Government and the community in the management and sustainable utilisation of Australia's wetlands for future generation by protecting game habitats through conservation. We promote responsible firearm ownership, ethical hunting and clay target shooting.

For further information about Field and Game Australia log onto our website www.fga.net.au.

As conservationists/hunters we place value on the worlds wetlands.

What can you do for our wetlands in 2004 that will make a difference?

"Don't just talk about Habitat Conservation; get out there and do it."

For Release 9 a.m., January 7, 2004

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,187 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,608,257

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