Furry friend shows face

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

LO­CAL land­hold­ers in the Sheep Pen Creek Land Man­age­ment Group area, north of Vi­o­let Town, have been de­lighted by re­cent sight­ings of the threat­ened car­niv­o­rous mar­su­pial, the Brush-tailed Phasco­gale.

While known his­tor­i­cally from the gen­eral area, lo­cals who have lived in the district for the last 50 years or more had never seen the an­i­mal be­fore.

In the last three years, how­ever, there have been mul­ti­ple records of phasco­gales in the Earl­ston and Koonda dis­tricts, in­clud­ing an an­i­mal caught on cam­era.

Chair of the Land­care group, Doug Robin­son, said it is re­ally en­cour­ag­ing that a threat­ened an­i­mal has ac­tu­ally made a come­back and re­colonised part of its for­mer range.

“It is a tes­ta­ment to the longterm reveg­e­ta­tion ef­forts of lo­cal land­hold­ers, the land­care group and other con­serva- tion groups that phasco­gales have now re-es­tab­lished here, as habi­tat qual­ity and habi­tat con­nec­tions have in­creased,” Mr Robin­son said.

“It is also a tes­ta­ment to the Strath­bo­gie Shire’s dili­gence in en­sur­ing the pro­tec­tion of im­por­tant habi­tat on road­sides.”

Phasco­gales are a medium- sized preda­tor which need high-qual­ity habi­tat to sur­vive.

This con­sists in par­tic­u­lar of an abun­dance of large, hol­low-bear­ing trees and an abun­dance of fallen wood.

Re­move these two el­e­ments and phasco­gales will not sur­vive over time.

We con­grat­u­late the shire, there­fore, for recog­nis­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of many of its road­sides as crit­i­cal habi­tat for threat­ened wildlife.

To see some of the Sheep Pen Creek Land Man­age­ment Group’s works over the past forty-two years which have helped phasco­gales re­turn to the land­care group area, join us for a bus tour and AGM on Sun­day.

CUTE: The Brush-tailed Phasco­gale.

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