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.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Can you help?

Did you know we host corporate planting days in the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve?

Contact the Friends Coordinators, Sue or Bruce for details - 5964 8341 or heho1@optusnet.com.au

Image: Australian Unity staff planted habitat plants for their corporate voluntering day
Photograph by: B. Tardif

Going wild in April 08

Young Helmeted Honeyeaters flew off into the wild in April, blithely unaware of the critical role they must play to save their kind from extinction.

The birds, aged from just two to eight months, were the latest graduates of Healesville Sanctuary’s captive breeding program that supplements two wild populations of honeyeaters.

Six birds were released at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, with nine others released at Bunyip State Park. The fate of the birds now rests with nature, assisted by the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Parks Victoria and volunteers such as the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater.

The releases take the wild population of Victoria’s bird emblem to about one hundred, a stark contrast to many years ago when there was plentiful habitat for the birds from Healesville to South Gippsland.

DSE Field Ornithologist Bruce Quin has been working to boost survival rates of the birds in the wild for more than 14 years. Supported by a dedicated group of volunteers, Bruce provides supplementary food for the released birds which enables close monitoring of the population. This assists in the long term understanding of the Helmeted Honeyeater’s habitat needs, potential predators, survival and population dispersal.

President of the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater Bob Anderson says, “It is a special feeling to be a spectator and watch released captive birds discover that the sky is now their ceiling. Being part of a program that returns birds to their natural habitat is a real joy.”

Without the commitment and cooperative approach of government and volunteers, the long-term aim to bring this species back from the brink of extinction would not be possible.

Image: A young Helmeted Honeyeater flies free
Photograph by: R. Connor