Lend a hand! Joint effort at Anglesea

View over Anglesea, including the site where conservation works are set to take place this Friday.

This Friday an army of volunteers will descend on the coast at Anglesea, planting precious Moonah trees and forming a human chain gang as they transport mulch up the dunes.

The project, which is part of an annual conservation day organised by the Torquay Landcare Group,  is a joint effort between a number of groups and organisations, demonstrating the difference that can be made through coordinated  action. Torquay Landcare will be joined by the Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR), the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) and others while Quiksilver is generously providing funding support and around 20 staff volunteers.

Quiksilver gives  staff 2 volunteer leave days each year where staff are encouraged to get out of the office and do something positive for the community. The revegetation day is on the Quiksilver Foundation Event Calender every year.  The organisation has been working with these groups now for over 6 years and at the Anglesea site for 3 consecutive years.

Coastal Moonah Woodland is listed as a threatened community under the Flora Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and the group aims to rehabilitate the area in an effort to restore it to its former glory.

Anyone can get involved – so if you love the coast and want to roll up your sleeves (plus have a great day out!) feel free to come along and join in.  The day starts at 9am (meet at the foot of the stairs at the Surf Beach dunes – opposite Red Till)  and lunch is provided at the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club at 1pm.   For more information contact Rhonda from Torquay Landcare on 0428 374 610.

If you can’t make it tomorrow, then there’s always next year! The annual event is set to occur on Spring Creek in 2013, so stay tuned!

To learn more about coastal volunteering in our region, visit our webpage here.

Joint force protects threatened woodlands

Anglesea Coast Action (ACA ) has joined forces with other coastal volunteer groups, students, a local business and local land managers to protect threatened Coastal Moonah Woodlands.

ACA secretary Carl Rayner said the work, which is focused on the sand dunes at Main Beach Anglesea, was necessary protect nearby Moonah Woodlands from the devastating impact of environmental weeds.

“Birds transfer seeds via their droppings into the woodland and the weeds then grow, eventually taking over the area by sucking all the moisture out of the soil and killing the Moonah trees,” said Mr Rayner.

Year nine students from St Bernard’s Catholic Boys College in Essendon assist ACA in their conservation work each year.

Students can be seen dragging cut vegetation from the sand dunes to the car park for mulching and using bow saws to cut smaller shrubs and trees.

Year 9 student volunteers from St Bernards Catholic Boys College Essendon working at Anglesea Main Beach.

St Bernard’s Campus Director Mark Smith said the project was an outdoor education experience for students and that for some it was their first experience of the coastal environment.

“The students gain an understanding of the natural environment and engage with the community and it provides them with great insight into coastal management,” he said.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Conservation Team organises the mulching of cut vegetation after working bees, which is then recycled for use at the time of planting.

Conservation Officer Georgie Beale said Coastal Moonah Woodlands were listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, which identifies them as a threatened ecological community and a high conservation priority.

“Our team works to protect and enhance Moonah plant communities on a regular basis by removing environmental weeds along a wide range of sites right along the coast,” she said.

Once the site has been prepared, the Torquay Landcare Group facilitates approximately 40 staff volunteers from Quicksilver to plant 1500 indigenous plants in one day.

Torquay Landcare Group (TLG) member Rhonda Bunbury said that for four years, Quiksilver Foundation has sponsored Torquay Landcare in the group’s re-vegetation projects.

“It’s a fun day as well as hard work but there is a reward in watching the dunes come back to life with plants that belong in the dunes’ environment and which enrich the dune habitat,” said Ms Bunbury.

The project is supported by a $4,300 grant from the Coastal Small Grants program at the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

The ACA group meets on the second Saturday of each month at the Motor Yacht Club Point Roadknight for a working bee held 10am to 12noon. Anyone who would like to get involved can contact Carl Rayner on (03) 5263 2193 or (03) 9331 2810 email: crayner3@gmail.com.

This story was written by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and published in the Surf Coast Time’s Going Green Column.

Fighting Furry Ferals

Rabbits in the region are on the rise as the problematic pests gorge themselves on an abundance of lush feed following a wet summer.

Caleb Hurrell, Pest Management Officer from the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) says rabbits cause a range of impacts on the wider landscape.

“Impacts include overgrazing of native vegetation, displacement and direct competition with native fauna, soil erosion and reduced water quality.

“As little as 1 active warren entrance per hectare can prevent the regeneration of threatened native vegetation and in favourable conditions two rabbits can breed up to over 180 rabbits in 18 months,” he said.

The Torquay Landcare Group and the Surf Coast & Inland Plains Landcare Network are working to eradicate rabbits in Freshwater Creek, Moriac and Bellbrae.

Andy Smith, a local land owner and a member of the Torquay Landcare Group says controlling the pest is a huge challenge.

“It is a continuous effort to control the rabbit population and stop them exploding.

“We poison the rabbits over a week, and before and after poisoning we work to clean up areas that harbor rabbits such as warrens and wood piles,” said Mr. Smith.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee also runs an annual control program, focussing on rabbits residing in the dunes from Whites Beach to Point Impossible.

“The rabbits threaten important native plant species, reduce cover and destabilise the dunes,” said the Committee’s Acting Coastal Reserves Manager Mike Bodsworth.

Mr. Bodsworth said Pindone, the poison used in control programs, is of low toxicity to dogs.

“Routine notices are placed on sites where baiting has occurred and the poison used is not attractive to dogs,” said Mr Bodsworth.

How should people help?

Rabbits are classified as a declared established pest under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994. All landowners have a legal obligation to control rabbits on their property in Victoria.

The DPI says effective rabbit control relies on a coordinated effort involving all landholders in a geographic region.

“Combining a range of differing rabbit control techniques including warren ripping, fumigation, harbour removal is the most effective way to control rabbits,” said Mr. Hurrell.

Mr. Smith says rabbit control is a difficult process that needs to be well planned.

“A poorly thought out poisoning or ripping program can be an expensive waste of time.  The timing and selection of methods needs to be well thought out and coordinated with experts and neighbours,” he said.

Where can I find more information?

  • Call the DPI Customer Service Centre on 136 186 or visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au
  • Contact the Torquay Landcare Group on (03) 5266 1087 to get involved.
  • For more information on the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s rabbit control program call (03) 5220 5055.

This story was written by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee and published in the Surf Coast Time’s Going Green Column.