Res­i­dents flock to Brolga launch

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ALANNAH GREEN­WOOD

The launch of a re­port high­light­ing Brolga habi­tat man­age­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Ruther­glen re­gion was well re­ceived by the Ruther­glen com­mu­nity at its re­cent launch.

The Ruther­glen Land­care Group and the North East Catch­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity, who an­nounced their in­ter­est in pro­tect­ing and man­ag­ing Brolga (Antigone ru­bi­cunda) habi­tat in the Ruther­glen re­gion in 2015, com­mis­sioned Inka Veltheim from Fed­er­a­tion Univer­sity Aus­tralia to de­liver the re­port.

En­gag­ing the ser­vices of Inka fol­lowed a com­mu­nity pre­sen­ta­tion in Ruther­glen by her on eco­log­i­cal re­quire­ments of Brol­gas, main threats, and ac­tions to pro­tect the species and a field trip to fa­mil­iarise com­mu­nity mem­bers and land­hold­ers with lo­cal Brolga breed­ing habi­tats.

With more than 150 peo­ple at­tend­ing two in­for­ma­tion ses­sions in 2015, it was the high level of com­mu­nity in­ter­est that prompted Ruther­glen Land­care Group and North East Catch­ment Man­age­ment Author­ity to in­vite Inka to be­gin a Brolga habi­tat man­age­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Ruther­glen re­gion re­port.

Inka, who is in the process of com­plet­ing her PhD stud­ies, de­liv­ered an in­ter­est­ing pre­sen­ta­tion to all at the launch of that re­port ear­lier this month.

The re­port in­cludes ex­ist­ing Brolga habi­tats in the Ruther­glen area, cur­rent threats, re­cent man­age­ment ac­tions, con­straints and op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as rec­om­men­da­tions and long term sus­tain­able plan­ning.

Pres­i­dent of the Ruther­glen Land­care Group Jenny David­son said Inka’s talk about the re­port high­lighted the ac­tions and op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cals to make a real dif­fer­ence to the habi­tat needs of Brol­gas.

“Inka gave a brief out­line of what is known about our Ruther­glen Brol­gas which con­sist of a breed­ing pair and up to eight birds at times,” she said.

“She also high­lighted Brol­gas are quite par­tic­u­lar in choos­ing their nest­ing wet­land, wet­lands are re­quired to have suf­fi­cient wa­ter un­til the young chicks fledge at around three months of age, dense veg­e­ta­tion for cam­ou­flage and the need for fox con­trol for suc­cess­ful breed­ing.

“Inka’s re­port re­ally gave our Ruther­glen Land­care Group the in­for­ma­tion we need to un­der­take fur­ther projects to en­sure our lo­cal birds stay in the area and pos­si­bly en­cour­age more brol­gas.”

Inka’s talk about the Brolga re­port high­lighted the ac­tions and op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cals to make a real dif­fer­ence to the habi­tat needs of Brol­gas.

Res­i­dents flocked to the launch of Inka Veltheim’s Ruther­glen Brolga Re­port ses­sion to learn more about Brolga’s in the Ruther­glen area.

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