Roo family caught on coastal camera

The image of a kangaroo and her joey are among the new images capturing some of the coast’s diverse fauna as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) motion-sensor, infrared camera monitoring. Read more

Push for community to aid pest effort

Foxes are highly adaptable, resilient and cunning pests that prey on both native wildlife and livestock and are considered a threat to 14 species of birds, 48 mammals, 12 reptiles and two species of amphibians.

A fox caught was spotted using infrared cameras in September last year. Foxes have been known to take shelter in coastal vegetation and around homes.

These predators have been declared ‘established invasive animals’ by the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, and a single fox can consume thousands of native animals every year.

You can help to deter the predatory pests and support Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and Surf Coast Shire Council fox control efforts by removing potential food and shelter sources from your property.

Surf Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Rose Hodge, said foxes were opportunistic, meaning people could easily unwittingly feed or shelter the pests.

“Within our coastal environments and around our homes, there is an abundance of food available for foxes,” Cr Hodge said.

Vanessa Pike Fox 3.jpg
The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has played a significant role in the decline of ground-nesting birds, small mammals and reptiles. Photo: Vanessa Pike

“We can all help reduce these food sources by minimising the amount of food left outside, particularly overnight, by covering compost, ensuring rubbish bins are fully closed and cleaning up fallen fruit regularly.”

GORCC Environmental Projects Coordinator Alex MacDonald said homeowners should remove structures around their property where foxes may seek refuge or shelter including woody weeds such as boxthorn and blackberries, rubbish piles and old machinery.

“Fencing off rock piles, building materials, hay bales, woodpiles, and underneath houses will also help reduce hiding places foxes can live in,” she said.

GORCC and Council are working together to reduce fox numbers on the coast, with GORCC leading intensive on-ground eradication efforts and monitoring programs in coastal areas with Council funding support.

Council also runs separate fox eradication initiatives on land it manages as part of its annual pest plant and animal programs.

“Fox control requires an ongoing effort and our best chance of reducing numbers on the Surf Coast is for communities and land managers to work together,” said Ms. MacDonald.

Foxes are a particular threat to local, beach nesting Hooded Plovers, with the predators thought to have been behind the disappearance of multiple chicks, eggs and adult birds over the past two years.

“Point Impossible, Point Roadknight and Moggs Creek are being particularly targeted as these sites are known Hooded Plover breeding zones,” said Ms. MacDonald

For more information on pests on the coast and how you can help visit or

How do you help deter foxes and pest animals around your home? Let us know in the comments below. 



Elusive fauna captured on camera

The Southern Brown Bandicoot and rare Rufous Bristlebird have been captured on infrared, motion-sensing cameras in Aireys Inlet.

The cameras, which were recently installed by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) as part of a new conservation monitoring program, record and identify animal activity in coastal habitats.

The below footage shows the Rufous Bristlebird amongst the vegetation:

The footage was collected within weeks of placing the cameras on coastal restoration sites. GORCC Education Activity Leader Peter Crowcroft said the sighting of a bandicoot, in particular, was unexpected and exciting.

The Southern Brown Bandicoot wandering past the camera at night.

“We are very fortunate the Southern Brown Bandicoot wandered into the monitoring area. We weren’t expecting to have such a good sighting of a bandicoot, especially within the first week.

“We are thrilled to have images of these animals in the area as it provides photographic evidence that the work we are doing is valuable for their survival. Until now there was no real way to confirm that rare species are living in the revegetated areas along the coast, so this evidence is very encouraging,” he said.

A feral cat threatens endangered species in the Aireys Inlet bushland.
A feral cat is captured in the same location as the other fauna was photographed.

Read the full media release here.

Are there any rare species you hope our infrared cameras will find? Let us know in the comments below!

Snapshot of the coast

A new monitoring program is set to identify what fauna species are living on our coastal reserves and measure the success of ongoing conservation works.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) is working with volunteer groups to establish a monitoring system which will gather data using a range of techniques including infrared cameras, and mammal surveys.

Flora surveying will also be conducted, with transect lines and photo points to be set up on conservation sites.

Beacon Ecologist Luke Hynes helps GORCC conservation supervisor Georgie Beale and
Beacon Ecologist Luke Hynes helps GORCC conservation supervisor Georgie Beale and Evan Francis set up a transect line.

GORCC Environmental Projects Manager, Alex Sedger said that the program will provide an in-depth analysis of the different species living along the coast and help GORCC and volunteers to develop conservation strategies.

“It is important that we are able to quantify the fauna in the area to direct resources in the best strategic way.

“Our conservation has primarily focused on weed control and pest eradication, so it will be interesting to analyse what impact our work is having on the environment,” Ms Sedger said.

A bandicoot captured on infrared cameras.

GORCC has engaged local consultant Luke Hynes from Beacon Ecological to assist with the revision and implementation of the organisation’s Native Vegetation and Weed Action Plan.

Mr Hynes, who recommended the implementation of a monitoring system, said the infrared cameras are an important tool in evaluating the health of the environment.

“The data collected from the cameras will provide valuable information for GORCC’s land management and will help educate volunteer groups about the animals in the area,” Mr Hynes said.

The cameras will be set up in several different locations to record both native and pest animal activity in each area.

Parks Victoria has successfully used infrared cameras in the Otways region and most recently in Wilsons Promontory to monitor fauna, capturing a number of native animals including endangered and threated species.

“The results of their research is very encouraging and we hope the monitoring we undertake in our local area will have similar results,” Ms Sedger said.

It is hoped that the cameras will also capture feral pests with a particular focus on their impact on vulnerable species such as the Hooded Plover.

Ms Sedger said the project would include collaboration with the many environmental volunteer groups working on the GORCC –managed coast.

“Volunteers are very keen to see this type of monitoring take place and we are looking forward to working with them and supporting their invaluable work,” she said.

More information on environmental volunteering is available at

What do you think about the new monitoring systems? Have your say below.

Endangered species spotted on coast

CCMA remote sensor camera captures an image of a Southern Brown Bandicoot between Anglesea and Aireys Inlet.

Sightings of the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot have buoyed conservation volunteers after images of the species were caught on remote sensor cameras between Anglesea and Aireys Inlet in recent months.

Environmental volunteers from the Friends of Eastern Otways group sighted a Southern Brown Bandicoot in June this year.

Volunteer Kaye Traynor said volunteers observed the rare species, which breed between June and December, during daylight hours in the Moggs Creek heathlands.

In a bid to protect and improve coastal biodiversity,  the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CMA) has been using remote motion sensor cameras to monitor what species are using coastal habitats in the region.

The cameras – set up at sites in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet – were successful in capturing images of the species on two occasions about three months ago.

Corangamite CMA Biodiversity Manager Nick McCristal said “the cameras are moved through a range of biodiversity projects throughout the CMA region and capture a variety of species.”

Mr. McCristal said the use of remote sensing cameras was a relatively recent addition to the program, as the technology has become less expensive and more reliable.

“The cameras are placed in locations that we believe animals will utilise, such as pathways and water holes and are activated by a motion sensor as fauna moves past,” he said.

Ms Traynor said protection of habitat was very important as well as keeping pets, especially cats and dogs under control.

“Fox predation is also a serious problem,” she said.

Southern Brown Bandicoots are listed as nationally endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

What does the Southern Brown Bandicoot look like?

  • The southern brown bandicoot is a medium sized marsupial about the same size as a small rabbit
  • Has pointed snout, small eyes, rounded ears, compact body, large rump and a thinly furred short, thin tail approximately half of the body length.
  • Fur is coarse, greyish or yellowish brown above with a whitish belly

The DSE factsheet has included a  detailed description on the Southern Brown Bandicoot.

For more information visit the Australian Government website.

Threats to the survival of bandicoots:

The major current threats to bandicoots are predation, primarily by foxes but also by dogs and cats, and loss of habitat by clearing of vegetation which removes patches where they can live and limits their capacity to move between remaining patches.

What the community can do to protect the endangered species:

The Department of Sustainability and Environment said on their fact sheet there are a number of things the community can do including:

  • Controlling foxes on your property
  • Creating new habitat or improving remaining patches by planting appropriate indigenous understory species
  • Considering staged weed removal and replacing weeds with appropriate native plants
  • Linking patches of habitat with corridors
  • Keeping cats and dogs under control at all times

If you are interested in joining a volunteer group to protect the endangered species then visit Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) volunteer group and opportunities page.

For information on what is involved with coastal volunteering visit GORCC’s volunteer page.

For further information on how to protect our flora and fauna visit DSE, Greening Australia , or Trust for Nature.

Related Blog Posts: 

 img_041811Counteracting the Coast Tea-Tree invasion
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bridalcreeper1 Queens Park blitz a group effort  
 dsc00218Sensors to stop stealthy predators

Sensors to stop stealthy predators

Data collected by Parks Victoria using infrared camera trapping is helping keep track of  threatened species and monitor the control of predators like cats and foxes. It sounds very technical but according to a recent Surf Coast Times article it’s easy, cheap and causes minimal disturbance to native wildlife.

How does infrared camera trapping work?

Digital cameras are set up at various montitoring sites and help researchers to determine the effectiveness of their current fox and cat control methods.  The cameras not only collect images of predators but have taken some great pictures of rarely seen native wildlife.

The monitoring is helping to collect data on mammals and birds where is the past information was based on estimates and guess work.

A fox is caught in the act as it passes an infrared motion sensor site. Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria

Where are the cameras located?

Monitoring has taken place over 4 years in more than 40 sites in the Anglesea Heath and the Great Otway National Park.

The results so far…

The data collected has shown small mammal numbers are increasing and rare animals like the Bandicoot are being spotted  more frequently.

The research has also found rainfall is a key factor in wildlife population changes. When there is better rainfall in a season more animals were caught on film. This is because  better plant growth means more insects for the wildlife to feed on which then results in a  better breeding season with more babies.

Lots of small mammals have been spotted by the cameras. Photo courtesy of Parks Victoria.

Have the cameras caught anything interesting?

Two male Scarlet Robins were caught having a territorial dispute.

Also spotted were the White Footed Dunnart, Southern Brown Bandicoots, a long-nosed Bandicoot, Button Quail, Owlet NightJars, Echidna, Possum and Currawong.

To read the full article click here.

More information about Parks Victoria and this project is available at or by calling 131 963.

Cats and foxes are highly prevalent on the Surf Coast to learn more about these predators check out these links.

Who let the cats out? A blog about cat curfews on the Surf Coast.

Predatory pests targeted in Juc  a blog about fox trapping in Jan Juc.

Click here  to learn about more ways you can help to protect native wildlife.