Five nights were held at the Carlton office,
covering the following subjects, Pam Whitely, ‘Animal health’, Dr Grainne Cleary ‘Interacting with birds in your back yard’, Kristal Kostoglou ’Shorebird egg predation – pre hatching vocalisation’, Tracey-Ann Hooley ‘Volunteering and the birds on the island of Skomer – Wales’, and the full capacity night of more than 80 attendees, John Weigel ‘The Biggest Year: 366 Days on the American Birding Trail’.
Regular conservation meetings
We held nine meetings through a combination of physical attendance and teleconference with local and regional branch members.
Waterfowl hunting was a key focus
addressing issues with government, attempts to have the practice ended, hunter behavior, monitoring waterbird populations and reporting on wetlands. This contributed to some wetland closures, however the outdated practice is allowed by government to continue inspite of all the indicators telling us that the current environment or hotter and dryer conditions is affecting populations and populations are in serious decline.
We also focused on two investigations,
The Central West Investigation.
A submission was presented for the investigation. The next step in the process is awaited. The investigation covers public land in the vicinity of the Wombat, Wellsford, Mount Cole and Pyrenees Range forests.
The purpose of the investigation was to:
a) identify and evaluate the condition, natural and biodiversity values and cultural, social and economic values and the current uses of public land in the specified area; and
b) make recommendations for the balanced use and appropriate management arrangements to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural values.
The Yellingbo investigation where a letter was sent to the Minister to protest over the rejection of key recommendations, the most important being the reduction in the width of riparian strip re-vegetation to 10m. A political reply was received.
The investigation covered the area of the Yarra Valley east of Melbourne centred around Yellingbo.
The purposes of the investigation were to:
a) identify the biodiversity and ecological values in the specified area,
b) identify the current and likely future threats to those values and opportunities to reduce or remove those threats; and
c) make recommendations for appropriate management arrangements to conserve and enhance the biodiversity and ecological values.
In 2017 approximately half of the 36 KBAs (IBAs) were given an Easter Health Check
Up from about five in 2016. This reflects the increase in the number of KBA (IBA) Guardians who are now keeping an eye on these areas.
One Student research award
of $2000 was made for research into Improving the breeding success of captive bred and released Regent Honeyeaters into Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.
We formed the Victorian Ornithological Records Appraisal Committee (VORAC)
under the auspices of BIrdLife Victoria Committee was formed in 2017. Activity on recording and assessing Victorian rarities will commence in 2018.
And as usual a number of pelagic trips were run during the year.
All the Best
The Victoria Committee.