Activity Coming up this Saturday

Fire damaged re-vegetation.
Project Site in 2010, previous re-vegetation efforts were destroyed in the Black Saturday fires.

 

This Saturday July 28th, we are inviting people to join us

New Seedling
Newly planted seedling in a wire tree-guard

for an activity at one of our on-going project sites. The aim is to remove wire tree-guards from successfully plantings which are part of the recovery from 2009 bushfires.

Meeting point is the Tarra-Bulga Visitors centre at 10am and the activity will finish around 1pm. Please let us know if you intend to come along in case there are any change of plans. Phone 0488 035 314 or email: friendsoftarrabulga@gmail.com

 

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Project Site Showing Progress June 2018

Lyrebird Mound in the Tarra Valley

Thanks to group members Martin and Bernadette for letting us use this great camera footage they captured from a very busy Lyrebird mound just near the park in the Tarra Valley. The video catches a male Lyrebird at the peak of the breeding season, strutting his stuff in a full display.

Cats in Tarra-Bulga National Park

Although they are not often seen by visitors, feral and domestic cats are established predators at Tarra-Bulga National Park and our remote camera results suggest they are becoming more common.

The table below shows results from five years of remote camera monitoring carried out by the Friends of Tarra-Bulga Park. Cat numbers as a percentage of total species recorded rose dramatically from 0.7 to 3.9%.

Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
No. of Cats Records 16 33 64 59 41 64
Total Records 2208 2898 4827 3804 1352 1638
Percentage of Cats 0.7% 1.1% 1.3% 1.6% 3.0% 3.9%

The impact these cats are having on the birds, small mammals and reptiles is a real concern. Although there are many variables in the ways we set up our cameras, the general trend in the last few years is for them to be detecting greater numbers of cats and less small native mammals (e.g. Antechinus and Bush Rats). Sadly we have also been detecting less of the smaller birds such as Pilotbirds and White-browed Scrubwrens. (For a summary of sightings of others species download this Percentage of sightings per year for commonly detected species captured in remote camera photos )

The gallery below shows that cats in Tarra-Bulga range from large ferals and panther look-alikes to small (some might say cute) looking kittens, some even have collars. What is undeniable though, is that their presence has a major impact on the ecology of Tarra-Bulga National Park.

 

Lyrebird Survey 2018 Results

Another great turnout of 34 volunteers for this year’s survey, our annual Lyrebird Survey is by far our most popular activity and once again we were able to cover all 16 monitoring sites.

Weather conditions were quite good, at 5.30am heading up to Balook there was a substantial amount of moonlight with a clear sky and some cold air, At Balook however it was darker because of cloud cover blocking the moonlight and there was a slight breeze in the treetops.

Our full crew of volunteers arrived in good time and by 6.30am everyone had arrived and signed in and by 6.45am everyone had been briefed on their tasks and had headed out in the dark to their assigned monitoring stations.

Once in position there ended up being quite an unexpectedly long wait until Lyrebird calls were first heard, only a couple of locations recorded birds calling before 7am; which was when the majority of the sites started hearing birds, the latest any group had to wait to record any calls was 7.10am.  Last year (2017) every site had birds calling by 6.55am.

The official sunrise time for Saturday June 2nd at Balook was 7.22am and first light was scheduled to appear at 6.52am which was almost identical to last year.

From our results we detected 8 birds calling in our search area, this figure was slightly down on recent years. It is hard to read too much into one years results but potentially the dry summer and autumn we have experience may be having an impact. Most birds appeared to be calling from forest areas with established Eucalyptus over-storey or rainforest. It would be great if some action can be taken to re-establish the original canopy species into areas of the park that have been degraded.

As usual we only count birds that are detected by at least 2 monitoring stations and some stations heard birds calling that were not in our survey area so are not included in the final tally.

Thanks again to AGL who generously supported the breakfast provided for the early rising volunteers.

Lyrebird Survey Results Summary Table 2010-2018

 

 

Year

 

Number of Males Calling

Monitoring

Points

Covered

(out of 16)

 

 

Weather Conditions

2010 4 9
2011 9 13 Windy making it hard to hear calls, especially in the more exposed sites.
2012 9 12 Still and Calm
2013 3 10 Wet, may have discouraged birds from calling. Several males sighted feeding but not calling.
2014 14 15 Perfect calm morning
2015 6 12 Windy
2016 9 15 Ideal – slight wind, relatively warm
2017 11 16 Ideal – slight wind, relatively warm
2018 8 16 A little overcast with a slight breeze.

Lyrebird Count 2018 150 dpi