We’ve just started ten bird survey transects in the Muckleford Forest!
There is a new page on our website with all the details. Let us know if you want to join in! We’ll report on results via the website and posts.
Good ‘swiftie’ news from Tassie too – Birdlife Australia is reporting that the Tasmanian Upper House has voted down the proposal to allow logging in 356,000 hectares of forests including 12,000 ha of Critically Endangered Swift Parrot habitat.
Muckleford Forest is part of a KBA – a Key Biodiversity Area. This is an international designation! It used to be referred to as an IBA – an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. But what’s in a name? We know the Muckleford Forest is part of a network of forest remnants across our goldfields Box-Ironbark region that are outstanding for woodland birds and many other species. They are also part of what Dja Dja Wurrung call ‘upside down country’ in their Country Plan – reflecting the impact of gold mining.
Our KBA is the Bendigo Box-Ironbark KBA and includes all the box-ironbark woodland remnants that are significant for Swift Parrots in the Bendigo region of central Victoria (as defined by Kennedy and Tzaros 2005) and includes the following remnants (with land-ownership status): Sandon (SF), Strangways (private), Lockwood (SF), Muckleford-Maldon (Muckleford NCR and Maldon SF), Shelbourne (NCR), Diamond Hill-Mandurang-Sedgwick (Bendigo NP, Mandurang SF, Diamond Hill HR, Spring Gully Reservoir and Sedgwick SF), Pilchers Bridge-Lyell (Pilchers Bridge NCR and Lyell SF), Whipstick (NP), Wellsford (Regional Park, Mt Sugarloaf NCR and SF) and Kamarooka (NP; the whole of Kamarooka forest is taken in its entirety for its population of Diamond Firetails and Purple-gaped Honeyeaters). Most of the IBA is within protected areas or state forests, with only small forest blocks on private land.
Our loose network – the Muckleford Forest Friends Group – having delivered ‘Talking Fire’ last year (have a look at the presentations, audios, photos at Talking Fire) is now planning for the first KBA Easter Health Check of the Muckleford Forest in 2018.
Broadly speaking our plan – as one of a number of KBA Guardians – is to select around 10 sites across the Muckleford Forest, and monitor them regularly throughout 2017/2018, so that when the Easter Health Check comes around in 2018, we are in a better position to make an informed assessment. We’ve got ideas for systematic recording, as well as those serendipitous encounters, and using this website and posts as a way of sharing. We’d also like to link in with anyone who is making observations in the Muckleford Forest.
We’d love you to get involved. Next step is some more planning with Tanya Loos from Connecting Country who is coordinating across this large KBA. So let us know what you are interested in – if you like planning and organisation, our next meeting is Tues 2 May – or if you’d like to put your hand up for a monitoring site or to propose a location you’ve already been monitoring – or for any other ideas – drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org
Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) are sites of global bird importance, and are considered to be critical for bird conservation. A few years ago, BirdLife Australia identified approximately 300 IBAs across the Australian territories, each of which had to meet at least one of four strict criteria.
Four local patches of habitat were included in 2009 as part of the Bendigo Box Ironbark IBA. These are the Muckleford forest; forest within mostly privately owned land in Strangways (but also encompassing the Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve); the Sandon Forest; and the Pilchers Bridge Nature Conservation Reserve. The Bendigo Box Ironbark area was considered to be an IBA on the basis of it being an internationally important site for the Flame Robin, Diamond Firetail and Swift Parrot.
Thanks Connecting Country for this timely reminder! It’s easy to see the Muckleford Forest as a poor cousin – coppiced trees, degraded by past activities and a bit sad. But it is beautiful and biodiverse too.
At last some fun on this blog! Head out for a walk to find and help record our birds.
[Image: Feamle Rufous Whistler feeding – Fir0002/Flagstaffotos – http://commons.wikimedia.org%5D
The “Aussie Backyard Bird Count” is a BirdLife Australia and Birds in Backyards project.
The Muckleford Forest is our backyard – so if you’ve got 20 minutes and live close by or are walking there – look, listen and send in your bird list. The count runs from 20-26 October – so it has already started.
You can do as many 20 minutes counts as you want to, from each of your favourite locations. And you can do it on your smartphone or write a list and enter later via your computer. More details below.
Here are the instructions from:
To get involved all you need is 20 minutes, your ‘green patch’ of choice, and some keen eyesight (or binoculars!) [OR your ears if you can recognise birdcalls]. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or an expert! Simply record the birds you know and look up those you don’t on our new Aussie Bird Count smart phone app (available now and its free) or the Bird Count website – http://aussiebirdcount.org.au/.
Using the app or the website you can see live statistics and information on how many people are taking part near you and the number of birds and species counted not just across your neighbourhood but the whole of Australia! Not only will you get to know your feathered neighbours, but you’ll be contributing to a vital pool of information from across the nation that will help us see how Australian birds are faring.