World Wetlands Day in Australia

23/02/2007

Whittlesea, Victoria


World Wetlands Day 2007

Field and Game Australia
Metropolitan Branch

Habitat Conservation Info Report No.1/2007

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Purpose: These simple reports that I put out from time to time are aimed to inform, educate and promote partnerships and alliances with people and groups from all walks of life.

Education is the key.

Weather: Sunny with a light cool breeze.

Project Commenced: 9:10am - Completed: 1:20pm

Date: Saturday, February 3, 2007

Location: Mill Park Lakes and Marshlands and Native trees Morang Wetlands, City of Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia.

Task: To install thirteen "Hilton Deluxe" nest boxes on poles in wetlands and seven smaller parrot nest boxes in trees.

What is World Wetlands Day?
2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997.
Ramsar's focus for 2007 is on wetlands and fisheries.
Log on to Ramsar and find out more about how you can assist our wetlands today. (www.ramsar.org)

Introduction
Since European settlement many tree hollows have been removed by humans in Australia for land clearance. By installing nest boxes with a monitoring program we create an artificial tree hollow which proven over many years very successful for in the breeding of our native birds.

General Report
Members of our branch met at the Melbourne Water pumping station at Mill Parks Lakes which are man made wetlands covering more than 20 hectares.

WWD Photo 1 - 0952 - Mill Park Lakes
Front of photo: Stephanie Rutter, Sam Callus, Peter Gusatto, Rob Slattery, Mario DePasquale and
John Caven carrying "Hilton Deluxe" nest boxes out into the wetlands to be bolted to poles.

We had previously installed nest boxes to Mill Park Lakes. Our first task was prepare five new "Hilton Deluxe" nest boxes (designed for waterfowl) by placing straw about half full in each nest box, wade into the water and bolt them to the existing poles. At this time we have over 300 nest boxes installed in the City of Whittlesea, Victoria, Australia.



WWD Photo 2 - 0955 - Mill Park Lakes
Left of photo: Rob Slattery, John Caven and Mario DePasquale completing
installation of "Hilton Deluxe" nest boxes.

Straw is used to promote breeding in each nest box and has improved the efficiency and breeding of our Australian native birds as highlighted in Habitat Conservation Info Report No. 4/2005 called, "The Value of Nest Boxes, their Success in Breeding Australian Native Birds in the Wild".

We then gathered our tools and drove about six kilometers to the Morang wetlands where we accessed marshlands and installed an additional eight "Hilton Deluxe" nest boxes by digging holes, placing pole in hole and bolting on boxes. Each "Hilton Deluxe" nest box is erected facing north to north east, this has enhance the efficiency of each nest box, combined with a monitoring program will deliver optimum breeding outcomes for our Australian native birds in and around wetlands.

WWD Photo 3 - 0968 - Marshlands, Morang Wetlands
Foreground of photo: John Caven and Rob Slattery on crowbar.
Its hard digging and Peter Gusatto on shovel.
Background of photo: Leo Rutter, Anthony Rutter, and Mario DePasquale
digging another hole for a nest box pole.

Proceeded along a dirt track and selectively we installed seven parrot nest boxes to native trees which surround the Morang Wetlands. These nest boxes are considerably smaller in size and the entry to the nest box is smaller to accommodate our smaller native birds such as Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) and the Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius).

WWD Photo 4 - 0973 - Marshlands, Morang Wetlands
John Caven installing parrot box in tree with Sam Callus steadying ladder.

Summary
As a volunteer group our funding is obtained for nest box material through grants, both local and state governments and through donations. Materials are purchased, a cutting day is held with club members and nest boxes are assembled by young Australians from La Trobe University Lifeskills Program build great nest boxes as part of our unique partnership.

WWD Photo 5 -0996 - Group Photo
Back row: Nicholas Rutter, Sam Callus, Anthony Rutter, Leo Rutter and Peter Gusatto.
Front row: Tony Yiannakou, John Caven, Cassandra Slattery, Stephanie Rutter, Rob Slattery,
Sarah Slattery and Brody Callus behind the camera.

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

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

I look forward to seeing you in the wetlands in 2008.

John Caven
Conservation Officer, Metropolitan Branch, Field and Game Australia
C/O 148 Greenhills Road, Bundoora. Victoria, Australia. 3083
0407 856 392

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. (www.fga.net.au)

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
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2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,342

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