Project to protect threatened species

An exciting and innovative project aimed at protecting threatened species in the Young Shire is reaping benefits, recent monitoring results have shown.

The Squirrel Glider Project began in the Crowther district in 2010 under the former Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

The species of gliding possum was selected because it had been recorded in the area and was sometimes brought into the local WIRES branch as a victim of barbed wire entanglement.

The Squirrel Glider is a nocturnal gliding marsupial that lives in family groups, sheltering and nesting in hollows in trees. Feeding on both plant and animal foods, it glides from tree to tree in search of nectar, pollen, manna, gum and sap from wattles and eucalypt trees, as well as insects, bird nestlings and eggs.

It is very similar in appearance to its smaller and more common cousin the Sugar Glider, but has a much bushier, black tail which is longer than the head and body combined.

The Squirrel Glider is grey in colour with a black midline extending from between the eyes to the middle of the back. A membrane down the sides of its body is extended outwards when gliding.

Plants provide food, shelter and nesting sites for Squirrel Gliders, but this relationship is mutually beneficial, with the gliders providing pollination, seed dispersal and insect control services to plants.

‘Threatened species’ are named so because the animal may become extinct if the factors that threaten their survival are not reduced or removed.

So what is this threatened species actually threatened by?

The Squirrel Glider’s main threat is habitat loss and fragmentation, particularly the loss of large old living and dead trees, and an understorey of wattles and other shrubs.

Squirrel Gliders can glide up to 70 meters, but when trees are too far apart and the gliders have to come to ground, they may be predated upon by feral and domestic cats, dogs or foxes.

Along with other nocturnal animals, Squirrel Gliders may become caught on barbed wire fences, where they suffer a slow and painful death.

The Squirrel Glider Project set out to address these threats by increasing habitat, removing barbed wire and reducing animal predation.

Hundreds of trees and shrubs have been planted, 100 nest boxes installed in trees on 10 properties, barbed wire removed from fences and feral animals controlled.

Field days and workshops for the general public as well as active engagement in the project by local residents have resulted in greater community awareness of the plight of the Squirrel Glider.

Monitoring of the project is vital to ascertain if these activities are actually making a difference to the Squirrel Glider’s survival in the Crowther area.

In 2011 the Lachlan CMA contracted Vanessa Cain, now Landcare Support Officer (LSO) with Cowra-based Mid Lachlan Landcare, to monitor sites on properties where nest boxes had been installed.

The results of regular night-time spotlighting, nest box checking using a SnakeEye micro camera and the installation of remote infrared cameras at selected boxes have been staggering.

Thirteen Squirrel Gliders have now been found in six boxes, with a further 25 boxes containing glider leaf nests with no gliders present at the time of monitoring.

An added bonus of the monitoring has been the detection of Feathertail Gliders, Yellow-footed Antechinus, Ringtail Possums and Brushtail Possums in the project area.

Young District Landcare is also supporting the project, with Landcare Support Officer Mikla Lewis assisting with monitoring and organising field days and workshops in the area.

Young’s school students are also learning about the project, with events being held this coming September to celebrate Threatened Species Day.

“We are very grateful to the many local landholders who have embraced the project, allowing us to install nest boxes on their properties and assisting us with monitoring, planting and other activities,” Mikla said.

“However, it is a reciprocal arrangement, with landholders receiving free plants and assistance in learning about the Squirrel Glider and the other species found on their properties.”

A nature trail is currently being developed at Clover Leigh Golf Club in Crowther to provide a permanent educational facility for the whole community to learn not only about the Squirrel Glider but the other native animals, plants and ecosystems in the Young Shire.

For more information about the Squirrel Glider Project, please contact Mikla on 6343 2804 or email [email protected]老域名

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.

Maffra icons join forces to celebrate

Former Maffra Fire Brigade captain and member since he was 15, Ron Pitt, pictured with his 21-month-old grandson Mason McLernon, is looking forward to next month’s brigade centenary celebrations.TWOMaffra icons will work together next month when the Maffra Fire Brigade’s centenary celebrations coincide with the launch of the Gippsland Vehicle Collection’s new commercial vehicles display at the Maffra motor museum.

The brigade will host its centenary open day and street parade on Saturday, August 16, with the Gippsland Vehicle Collection launching its new display the following day.

Vehicles from the past 100 years of the fire brigade’s history, which will be part of the street parade, will also provide highlights of the commercial vehicle display.

Former Maffra Fire Brigade captain and member since he was 15, Ron Pitt, said the centenary would bring a lot of visitors to town.

“We’re hoping that after our celebrations they will head to the motor museum on Sunday to see what it has to offer,” he said.

Highlights of the parade and display will be a 1926 Graham Brothers Pumper and 1948 International K5 tanker.

Beginning at noon, the street parade will begin at the western end of Johnson St, led by the Maffra Municipal Band and the Maffra Fire Brigade, this year’s state champion, then to a display of 100 years of vehicles and appliances used by the brigade.

The parade will reassemble at the fire station.

A prized exhibit is the first appliance owned by the brigade, a man-powered service reel, which has been restored for the occasion.

“It wasn’t motorised, so it was the firemen’s legs that did the work, and it had a big drum to wind the hose on,” Mr Pitt said.

“The station will be open from 10am to 2pm on the Saturday and we hope people will come and join us and have a look at the static displays depicting our 100 years of service, and have a cuppa, a sausage or a hot beef roll.”

During the official ceremonies, the brigade will present its service awards, launch We Strive to Save, a book researched and written by Mr Pitt on the 100-year history of the brigade, and dedicate the new bell tower to the past and present members of the brigade from its 100 years.

” ‘We Strive to Save’ is the brigade’s motto, which was adopted in 1922. We thought it was an appropriate title for the history,” Mr Pitt said.

On the Sunday, not only will the fire brigade vehicles be on show at the Gippsland Vehicle Collection, but a range of commercial vehicles of all descriptions from the vintage, veteran, classic and modern categories will also be on display.

People with commercial vehicles which are of particular interest or that they are especially proud of can take them along to be exhibited on the grounds during the day.

The display day begins at 9am, with refreshments available on site.

Gippsland Vehicle Collection secretary Peter Quennell said the day would be a good opportunity to see some fantastic vehicles, and take a trip down memory lane.

“The museum has something for all ages,” he said.

For more information or to confirm attendance, phone Ron Pitt on 5141 1897 or Peter Quennell on 0412 387 102.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.

In brief: police news

Man charged for Waggarobbery

A MAN from Young has been charged over the robbery of a Tolland service station earlier this year.

The Shell service station on Bourke Street in Tolland was held up for the second time in two months on April 23.

A police investigation resulted in a the 25-year-old man being arrested and charged this week with robbery armed with an offensive weapon.

The man entered the servo about 12.45am and allegedly removed a cricket bat from inside his clothing before demanding money from the service station attendant.

He left with a small sum of cash.

The man will front Wagga Local Court on July 30.

On February 22, a man wielding a knife robbed the same service station, also escaping with a small amount of money.

Firearms stolen

Police are appealing for information after a number of firearms were stolen during a break and enter in Kingsvale.

Between 1pm on Tuesday, July 15 and 4.40pm on Wednesda, July 16, unknown persons have allegedly broke into a property in Currawong Road, Kingsvale.

The property owner’s son discovered the gun safe containing a number of firearms was stolen and contacted police.

Cootamundra Local Area Command officers are continuing to investigate the incident and are appealing for information.

Superintendent Peter Wanczura is hoping the community can help shed light on the incident.

“We strongly believe there is more than one person out in the community who knows where the firearms may be,” he said.

“In the wrong hands, firearms can have a devastating effect, so in the interest of community safety, we are urging anyone with information about the incident to contact us.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.

Mersey and Central Coast free-to-air channels to change frequency

RESIDENTS who receive their television signal from the Heazlewoods Hill, Penguin or Kelcey Tier TV transmitters will need to retune their TVs today.

Areas affected include:Ambleside, Devonport, Don, East Devonport, Penguin, Ulverstone, Latrobe, Miandetta, Quoiba, South Spreyton, Spreyton, Stony Rise, Tarleton and Wesley Vale.

Once the channels have moved, viewers will need to retune their digital TV, set-top box or digital TV recorder to get them back.

Viewers who receive their coverage from the Gumbowie Drive transmitter in Port Sorell retuned on 24 March 2014.

Viewers who receive their coverage from the Braddons Lookout transmitter in Forth, the Round Hill transmitter in Burnie and NE Tasmania transmitter will be retuning at a later date.

There may be some disruptions to TV services due to work being conducted at the transmission site. Any disruptions are unlikely to last longer than a few hours.

The best way for viewers find out when they are likely to need to retune is to visit the website and type in their address into the “get retune info” box or call the Digital Ready Information Line on 1800 20 10 13, 8am to 10pm (AEST), 7 days.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.