- Western Port Biosphere Reserve
Growing Connections for Sustainability
in Western Port Biosphere Reserve.
I SS U E
AP R —J U N
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Image: Waders at sunrise
by Cecelia Wi on
Growing Connections Biodiversity Planning Forum, 17 April 2015
Dr Paul Carnell, Marine and Coastal Ecologist at Deakin University’s Centre for Integra ve Ecology, will
discuss his research into the possibili es vegetated coastal habitats oﬀer in ﬁgh ng the eﬀects of climate
Mr Chris Chambers, Growing Connec ons Project Coordinator, will present the Western Port Biosphere’s
dra Biodiversity Plan which, when ﬁnalised, will provide direc on for regional biodiversity planning.
Members of the community, Landcare, DELWP, our member councils and the Port Phillip and Western
Port Catchment Management Authority have contributed to the development of the Plan.
The vital role mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses play in locking away carbon dioxide will be the
topic of the key note address at the Western Port Biosphere’s Growing Connec ons Biodiversity Planning
Forum on Friday 17th April.
Residents of the Western Port Biosphere and members of community groups are invited to a end this
fabulous opportunity to collaborate, share knowledge and develop connec ons across the region. There
will be updates about the Growing Connec ons Project. Representa ves from community conserva on
groups and from Bass Coast, City of Casey, Cardinia Shire Council, Frankston City and Mornington
Peninsula Shire Council will also provide updates about their biodiversity projects.
The Growing Connec ons Project aims to connect and improve habitat corridors in order to create a
biodiverse and resilient Western Port Biosphere. Growing Connec ons is supported by the Australian
Event details: Growing Connec ons Biodiversity Planning Forum
When: 9.45am to 3.30pm, Friday 17th April 2015
Where: Tarnuk Room, Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, 1000 Ballarto Road, Cranbourne
Cost: Free (please reserve your place for catering purposes and advise any dietary requirements)
RSVP: [email protected] by Monday 13th April 2015. Numbers are limited so book early.
Frankston City Council Environment Strategy
Greening our Future – Frankston City Council’s Environment Strategy was adopted by Council in February 2015
and provides a framework for protection and enhancement of the city’s environment over the next decade.
The Environment Strategy sits with a range of key Council strategies and will underpin the delivery of programs
aimed at protecting and enhancing natural assets, meeting the challenge of climate change and ensuring economic
development is ecologically sustainable.
The document was developed following extensive community consultation and represents the culmination of a
significant body of work by many contributors. It places biodiversity conservation, threatened species recovery and
protection of native vegetation through the planning scheme amongst the highest priorities for the municipality.
The core of the Strategy is a detailed implementation plan which sets out how the city’s goals for an environmentally
sustainable future will be achieved over the life of the document. It outlines roles and responsibilities for Council the
community and other stakeholders (including the Western Port Biosphere); sets measurable targets and provides a
detailed plan for delivery of priority actions identified by the community.
During its first two years the strategy will be strongly focused on protection and enhancement of flora and fauna
habitat and bio-links, enhancing tree canopy cover, coastal management, provision and management of open space
and the green wedge.
To view the Greening Our Future Environmental Sustainability Strategy go to h p://www.frankston.vic.gov.au/
phone 1300 322 322 or visit a Council Customer Service Centre.
Water Stewardship Project Oﬃcer
We are delighted to announce that Lance Lloyd has been appointed as the Water Stewardship Oﬃcer. Lance joins the
project with over 30 years prac cal experience across South East Australia and recently in the Paciﬁc Islands in
freshwater, estuarine, coastal and inland environments in ecology and management requirements.
The Water Stewardship Project is a joint project with Water Stewardship Australia and our project partners are Inghams
Enterprises, Melbourne Water, South East Water, Port Phillip and Western Port CMA, Parks Victoria and the Mornington
Peninsula Shire Council.
The ini al focus of the project will be on water-using industries in the Watson’s Creek catchment.
For project updates please check our website, www.biosphere.org.au.
THE BIOSPHERE CONNECTOR
ISSUE FIVE APRIL—JUNE, 2015
Growing Connections works with our partners
Land restora on and re-vegeta on will be the focus of
nine new partnerships with community partners of the
Western Port Biosphere Founda on.
Beneﬁts of the work being done by community partners
include weed control, management and re-vegeta on
of land which connects habitats.
“We will see 189 hectares of bush land enhanced and
32.3 hectares of land re-vegetated this year” Mr Duncan
Malcolm, Chair of the Western Port Biosphere
Founda on said. “We are delighted to be renewing
contracts and establishing new partnerships with
community groups to get this important work done.”
The Growing Connec ons project has overseen 668
hectares of habitat protec on and 72.5 hectares of revegeta on since 2012. In this me 58,200 individual
plants, comprising 128 diﬀerent species, have been
Nine new contracts have been signed with community
partners to care for and improve habitat within the
Biosphere Reserve. The contracts are with Bass Coast
Landcare Network, Cardinia Catchment Landcare Group,
Cardinia Environment Coali on, Cardinia Shire Council,
the Habitat Restora on Fund, Mornington Railway
Preserva on Society, Phillip Island Nature Park, and
Toomuc Creek Landcare Group.
The Growing Connec ons projects bring people
together to foster conserva on. This is one of the main
goals of the Western Port Biosphere.
Growing Connec ons is supported by the Australian
Photo:Landcare work is underway at the Holden Proving
Ground. Tully Gray (BCLN), Tony Rogers (Holden), Derek
Snowden (BCLN), and Sam Daikin (BCLN).
Photographer: Robbie Gray
THE BIOSPHERE CONNECTOR
ISSUE FIVE APRIL—JUNE, 2015
Threatened shorebirds prepare for return migration
Holidaymakers from across the state were not the only
ones ﬂocking to Phillip Island’s shores in summer, as
thousands of migratory birds set up camp around Phillip
Island’s Rhyll Inlet. The birds are soon to make the
return the journey north for the Arc c summer.
The shorebirds complete one of the world’s greatest
migra ons, ﬂying thousands of kilometres south along
the East Asian-Australasian Flyway from their food-rich
Arc c breeding grounds. The birds arrive between
October and December with severely depleted energy
reserves. Western Port’s dal mudﬂats provide a
welcome and much-needed feeding ground before the
shorebirds begin their non-stop journey back to the
Arc c between March and April.
Dr Roz Jessop, Environment Manager at Phillip Island
Nature Parks, explained: “Rhyll Inlet is a declared
Ramsar wetland of interna onal signiﬁcance and eastern
curlews, bar-tailed godwits, red-capped plovers and rednecked s nts can o en be seen feeding on the dal
mudﬂats or res ng on high- de shorelines.”
At September’s Australasian Shorebird Conference in
Darwin, scien sts warned that many of the migratory
shorebirds are disappearing by the tens of thousands.
The declines are a ributed to increasing habitat loss,
par cularly in the northern hemisphere around the
Yellow Sea where the birds ‘layover’ to refuel along the
long migra on route.
THE BIOSPHERE CONNECTOR
Eastern curlew numbers are reported to have collapsed
by 75 per cent in Tasmania, the southern end of the
ﬂyway. The drama c decrease may push eastern curlews
onto the Australian threatened species list.
“The alarming reports of shorebird popula on declines
ﬁltering in from around the world highlight the
importance of places like Rhyll Inlet as cri cal habitat
“We’re very fortunate to have these special shorebird
conserva on areas within our own backyard and to be
able to welcome these migratory birds given the
challenges they’re facing elsewhere in Australia or the
world,” Dr Jessop said.
Walks through Rhyll Inlet aﬀord excellent views of the
birds and wetlands, and new interpre ve signage is
scheduled for installa on in the coming months. Visitors
are encouraged to bring binoculars and a bird book, and
to remain on designated pathways and observe local dog
regula ons to ensure the best chance of not disturbing
Find out more about Rhyll Inlet at h p://
www.penguins.org.au/a rac ons/recrea onal-areas or
join an Island Bird Tour with a ranger from Phillip Island
Nature Parks - Ph: 5951 2800.
ISSUE FIVE APRIL—JUNE, 2015
Orange Bellied Parrot - Neophema chrysogaster
Conservation status: Critically Endangered
Moonlit Sanctuary is suppor ng the na onal
Orange Bellied Parrot recovery program by
breeding Orange Bellied Parrots in a specially
constructed breeding facility, which was built
with the support of the Avicultural Society of
With fewer than 70 Orange Bellied Parrots s ll in
the wild, Moonlit Sanctuary keepers have been
thrilled to have had two successful breeding
seasons in 2014 and 2015. Recently, we have
ﬂedged six Orange Bellied Parrot chicks - ﬁve
from just the one mum!
In 2014, Moonlit Sanctuary’s ﬁrst cap ve bred
bird was released into the wild of south-western
Tasmania to help boost the wild popula on of
this cri cally endangered species. Fantas c news
is that he was seen recently at a feed table
looking very healthy.
Orange Bellied Parrots breed in south-west
Tasmania over summer then migrate to the
southern coastline of Victoria, including the
shores of Western Port Bay 500 metres south of
Moonlit Sanctuary, every winter.
Like us on Facebook!
A new look for
We’re delighted to announce that our website has been
redesigned. It should be much easier for you to ﬁnd informa on
about our projects and upcoming events.
Did you know we have a Facebook
Like us on Facebook and you can
keep up to date with the latest
news from the Biosphere
We also like to share news and
informa on about what is
happening in the Biosphere
We’ll be upda ng the site regularly, so keep checking in! Our web
address remains the same – www.biosphere.org.au.
Making a diﬀerence: two hands- on projects
The Western Port Biosphere is a partner in the Protec ng the Ecological Values of the Western Port Ramsar Site
The aims of this project are to reduce threats, such as pest plants and animals, and to increase community
understanding of the importance of wetlands and how to protect them.
Warneet and Blind Bight are key areas for this project.
Join us at a Field Day
Learn about your coastal reserve and
na ve plant and weed iden ﬁca on and
control techniques with Naturelinks.
What native and pest animals live in
We have deployed photo monitoring cameras in the
Bonnie Watson Reserve where we captured shots of
birds and possums (see pictures). We also captured
shots of cats and dogs. It is very concerning that we
did not capture more na ve animals – mammals,
birds and rep les. A likely reason is roaming
predators such as cats, dogs and foxes.
For more informa on please don’t
hesitate to contact Sally Jacka.
But photo monitoring alone does not tell the whole
Where: Warneet Coastal Reserve
When: Sunday 3 May
Time: 10am to 12 noon
Sally Jacka, Project Oﬃcer, Western Port
You, the residents on any size property, can help us
ﬁnd out more by recording what you have seen on
our animal survey forms.
More informa on and animal survey forms are
available from Sally Jacka.
t: 03 5979 2167 or e: [email protected]
This project was made possible through Australian Government Caring for our Country funding to
the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority.
Seals, birds and a boat: Western Port up close
Western Port Biosphere Founda on and Phillip Island Nature Parks
supported the Western Port Catchment Commi ee in hos ng a
boat tour of southern Western Port for members and community on
Thursday 19th February.
Ian Stevenson, Western Port Catchment Commi ee Execu ve
Oﬃcer, said “Today’s boat trip was a great example of how the
Catchment Commi ee brings people together to exchange
informa on and ideas. This trip was a chance to explore the
southern sec on of Western Port and see our marine environment
up close. For many people this was their ﬁrst chance to explore this
Representa ves from community groups, Parks Victoria and local
government joined with the Biosphere Founda on in the
opportunity. Par cipants were able to share specialist knowledge
about the conserva on work that takes place is this incredible
marine area. The boat visited Seal Rocks, Reef Island and Elizabeth
Island, as well as looking at Middle Bank, the channels, the Phillip
Island Surﬁng Reserves.
“As custodians of this region this boat tour was a fabulous
opportunity for our partners to see a part of Western Port not many
people visit. We were able to exchange ideas on how we can
con nue to work together to foster conserva on and sustainable
development for the Western Port Biosphere” said Cecelia Wi on,
Execu ve Oﬃcer of the Western Port Biosphere Founda on.
The Western Port Catchment Commi ee is a community liaison
group interested in the sustainability of the Western Port catchment
region. The Catchment Commi ee is auspiced by the Biosphere
Photo: Passengers enjoyed the chance to
see new parts of Western Port.
Mornington Peninsula and Western Port
Biosphere Reserve Founda on
Unit 2, 184 Salmon Street
Has ngs VIC 3915
Phone: 03 59 792 167
The views expressed within this Newsle er are those
of the writers and not necessarily those of the editor,
Mornington Peninsula & Western Port Biosphere
Founda on or any other organisa on. Copyright on
images used remains the responsibility of the ar cle
contributor and all photographers should give
approval for image use and be credited accordingly.
Welcome to “Connector” - a collabora ve newsle er for the
Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere reserve.
The aim of this newsle er is to share sustainability informa on, educa on and events news across the en re Biosphere region. We welcome all groups and individuals to submit sustainability related news and events for this publica on.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 03 59792 162
Connector Submission Deadlines:
ISSUE 6: 5th June (July, August, September 2015 issue)
ISSUE 7: 5th September (October, November, December 2015)
Events in the Biosphere
Royal Botanic Gardens
Cardinia Cultural Centre
Na ve plant
iden ﬁca on
Western Port Biosphere
T: 03 5979 2167
E: [email protected]
May - Sunday 7
Royal Botanic Gardens
As part of the UK's Chelsea
Fringe Fes val, some 'Art
gardens' are popping up at
the Royal Botanic Gardens!
Highﬁeld Circuit, Boneo
Road, Cape Schanck
Ou ng to Mornington
Peninsula Na onal Park.
Contact BirdLife Mornington
The Glade – The
Sunshine Reserve, Mt.
Wilson Botanic Park,
T: 0429 947 893
Contact: City of Casey
T: 9705 5200
Ou ng to Sunshine Reserve
Mt. Martha. Contact BirdLife
T: 0429 947 893
Make it, bake it
T: 0417 370 488
Our supporters and partners
We gratefully acknowledge the support of our partners:
Bass Coast Shire | Cardinia Shire Council | City of Casey | Frankston City Council | Mornington Peninsula Shire Council
Join the Western Port Biosphere Founda on
The Western Port Biosphere Founda on works to achieve social, environmental and economic
sustainability so that future genera ons may enjoy a healthy lifestyle and natural beauty of the
Region. It’s only $25 per year to help us achieve this goal. Contribute to this important work now.
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Cheques/money orders payable to: MP&WP Biosphere Reserve Founda on Ltd.
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Account: MP&WP Biosphere Reserve Founda on Ltd