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.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Seeking Volunteers - Supplementary Feeding Program

The Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Program has been running since 1989. It is one of the longest running recovery programs for a critically endangered species, the Helmeted Honeyeater - Victoria's avifaunal emblem.

We are currently seeking interest from new volunteers able to assist with the important role of supplementary feeding a colony of Helmeted

Honeyeaters at either Yellingbo NCR (near Woori Yallock) or Bunyip SP (near Gembrook or Tonimbuk). Feeding occurs daily (weekdays and weekends) and each feeding activity takes roughly between 2 - 4 hours, but many volunteers often take longer if they are enjoying their visit into the forest.

Volunteers tasks will include:

  • preparing supplementary feed
  • walking into forested areas to supply feed at designated feeding stations
  • recording birds observed and adding to data sheets
  • cleaning up feeding equipment

These tasks can be undertaken as an individual or in pairs/small group.

As a small amount of training is required it is hoped that volunteers will be able to participate for a minimum of at least 5 sessions over a year with a preference for being willing to take on a more permanent feeding shift either weekly, fortnightly or monthly. As our current group of more permanent volunteers often have to take a day off here or there; being on a volunteer "on call/backup" list is also very useful if this suits your situation better.

Joining the Friends of Helmeted Honeyeater group would also be beneficial but is not a requirement. For more information visit

Note: a 4WD is required to access the parks and supplementary feeding areas.

For more information or to register your interest please contact Bruce Quin, the Senior Ornithologist for the Helmeted Honeyeater Recovery Program. E-mail: bruce.quin@dse.vic.gov.au
Mobile: 0412 576 646

Image: Supplementary feeding at Yellingbo
S Tardif

Monday, March 21, 2011

How long do Helmeted Honeyeaters live?

It's a common question when we're out and about talking to groups. How long do Helmeted Honeyeaters live?

Well, hot off the presses is this news from the Helmeted Honeyeater Field Ornithologist:

"Delighted to re-find our oldest known bird (swp) on 16/3/11! He hatched on the 18/11/94. So, we know that a male Helmeted Honeyeater can live for at least 16 years and 4 months in the wild at Yellingbo. We have had other males and females live to about 15 years at Yellingbo."

Go swp!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yellingbo State Emblems Park: Minister speaks for its establishment

Good news! Read James Merlino MP's full statement in the 1/3/11 Hansard (the record of parliamentary debates).

In part it reads...

State emblems park: establishment
Mr MERLINO (Monbulk) — I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for
Environment and Climate Change. The action I seek is that the minister proceed with the
creation of a new state emblems park in the Dandenong Ranges. I represent a very special part
of Victoria. .... This is the sole remaining natural habitat of the helmeted
honeyeater... As representatives of this region we need to ensure that our state emblems survive and flourish. ... The issue is that at the moment the management of the land in which these special animals live is divergent — the land is fragmented.... A new state emblems park would create a coordinated series of nature reserves under one park management system with a total area of approximately 5000 hectares. Other benefits would include the ability of volunteer and friends-of groups, such as the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, to coordinate their
activities and to secure grants from the three levels of government and philanthropic
organisations, and then those resources could be distributed right along the corridor. .... I commend this issue to the minister and request that he proceed with plans to create this new park. It is the single best thing that we can do to ensure the survival of our state emblem endangered species.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ethical Paper Pledge

Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater have joined the Wilderness Society Australia's call and signed the Ethical Paper Pledge, asserting our commitment to sustainability and the environment by not purchasing Reflex Paper until its producer, Australian Paper, stops sourcing from native forests.

The production of woodchips for pulp and paper is the largest driver of forest destruction in Australia. At a time when viable alternatives to native forest logging exist - Australia currently has an excess of plantation wood available - there is no excuse for Australian Paper to be sourcing paper from the destruction of our native forests.

Native forest logging damages crucial wildlife habitat. It also damages water catchments and releases huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere - globally, logging accounts for almost 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions.

It is International Year of Forests in 2011. Both individuals and organisations can support the cause by signing the Ethical Paper Pledge.