Heart Morass attracting attention and funding
The Heart Morass in Gippsland is already a great story of hunters driving real conservation outcomes and, as the wetland thrives, it is throwing up new stories to tell.
Japanese film company Hokkaido Television Broadcasting recently filmed part of a documentary on the latham’s snipe at Heart Morass. The latham’s snipe is a migratory bird. It breeds in Hokkaido in northern Japan and flies to the shallow wetlands of eastern Australia to escape the colder months. It’s estimated that 30 000 birds remain in the wild but numbers are declining, so scientists are trying to find out more about the route the birds take to Australia and their movements once they arrive. While the Heart Morass project has created habitat, the research aims to identify where latham’s snipe habitat could be lost. Japanese researchers plan to track 18 birds from Hokkaido while Australian counterparts will track birds located in wetlands around Canberra to see where they go when they travel to Victoria.
Heart Morass Restoration Project is ongoing and a recent 2017 Gippsland Lakes Community Grant of $30 000, funded by the Victorian Government and distributed through the Gippsland Lakes Coordinating Committee, will fund swamp scrub and woodland restoration.
The project will work to restore and enhance a 65 ha area of degraded swamp scrub and floodplain riparian woodland, building on a decade of activities to revive the wetland near Sale.
Field & Game Australia representatives Gary Howard and Simon Webster attended a luncheon in Paynesville to accept the grant on behalf of the WET Trust. The Heart Morass project is supported by the Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation, Watermark Inc., Bug Blitz and West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority.
Gary Howard and Simon Webster