About the Friends

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Yellingbo, Woori Yallock Creek sub-catchment, Australia
Have you ever wanted to contribute to conservation of a threatened species? The Helmeted Honeyeater is Victoria's state emblem and is listed as: 1. Critically endangered (DSE Advisory List Of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna In Victoria - 2007) 2. Threatened (Victorian Govt. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988) 3. Critically endangered (Federal Govt. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) Can people make a difference to this bird's long-term survival? We believe anyone can. Check out the 'Take action' button on our homepage (www.helmetedhoneyeater.org.au), then contact us for more details.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Members Day invitation - Sunday 30/3/08

Members Day for the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater starts at midday at the Rangers house, 1217 Macclesfield Road, Yellingbo. We will start with a BYO picnic or BBQ lunch, followed by a talk, the unveiling of a memorial plaque for one of our volunteers who passed away late last year and the planting of habitat plants in her memory.

Not a member but would like to attend? You can join on the day!

Our guest speaker, Karina Cartwright is the Senior Keeper of Threatened Species at Healesville Sanctuary. She will update us on the Helmeted Honeyeater’s captive breeding program. Karina has provided the following brief introduction.

The captive breeding program for Helmeted Honeyeaters at Healesville Sanctuary began in 1989. Today the Sanctuary holds 13 pair of Helmeted Honeyeaters in purpose built aviaries, each aviary housing a single pair of birds. Two pair of Yellow Tufted Honeyeaters are also held for use as foster parents. Each year the majority of Helmeted Honeyeaters bred at the Sanctuary are released between the two sites of Yellingbo and Tonimbuk. Occasionally some birds are retained at the Sanctuary for use as breeders in the captive population. Fledgling birds are released at the end of each breeding season (around April) after spending three days in acclimatisation aviaries at the release sites. Throughout the breeding season eggs and nestlings are also moved between the Sanctuary and wild nests as required. This happens for a number of reasons:

1. If a wild nest is abandoned the eggs/nestlings can be fostered into a captive nest or placed into an incubator and hand raised or fostered after hatching

2. If the age of a captive and wild nest are within a few days age of each other eggs/nestlings can be fostered from captive to wild nests. This is a preferable form of ‘release to the wild’ of captive birds as they are then raised and socialised in a wild situation.

All welcome.

Image: Karina & the Friends at our last Members Day
Photograph by: S. Tardif

Fauna survey 25/01/08 to 27/01/08

The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (FNCV) and the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater conducted a fauna survey for bats and small terrestrial mammals at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve (YNCR) over the Australia Day weekend.

Twenty seven people, including 11 young people, attended and thoroughly enjoyed the weekend. The weather was warm and humid, good weather for trapping our focal species - bats.

Over the two nights forty four bats were trapped in Harp traps. There were five different species recorded – Chocolate Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus mori), Large Forest Bat (Vespadelus darlingtoni), Little Forest Bat (Vespadelus vulturnus), Lesser Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi) and an Eastern Broad-nosed Bat (Scotorepens orion). A White-striped Freetail Bat (Tadarida australis) was also heard to call during the night. All animals were identified, sexed, weighed, measured and released over the weekend. This information will be included in the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife database.

A full report is included in our Autumn 2008 newsletter.

The information from these surveys increases our understanding of the species diversity and habitat within YNCR which assists with future management plans. If you would like to be contacted about our next survey – a bird survey – please email heho1@optusnet.com.au or phone 5964 8341 with your name and daytime contact details.

Thank you to the FNCV for an enjoyable and informative weekend.

Image: Setting the Harp trap
Photograph by
: B. Tardif