Orange-bellied Parrots mainland release

August 23, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Environment

The migratory Orange bellied Parrot is critically endangered and very close to extinction in the wild.

Less than 50 are left in the wild and the OBP National Recovery Team are doing all they can to save this beautiful little parrot.

One of the actions they are trialling is a mainland release.

DELWP, Zoos Victoria, Melbourne Water, Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Parks Victoria and the Tasmanian Government are partnering to deliver a Mainland Release Trial Program in Victoria for the Orange-bellied Parrot.

These Orange-bellied Parrots have been released at the Western Treatment Plant in Werribee as part of an innovative program to try to prevent extinction in the wild. With less than 50 Orange-bellied Parrots thought to exist in the wild, these management actions have never been more important for the future of this species.


The surfers who re-vegged Bells Beach

July 10, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Community, Environment

The Corangamite CMA give small grants to community groups working in the natural environment. One of these grants is the Coastal Small Grants fund and one of the recipients of this fund is a group called SANE (Surfers Appreciating the Natural Environment).

SANE from First Ladies – Colleen Hughson on Vimeo.

SANE is a group of surfers who have been looking after the Bells Beach Reserve for the past 30 years. They remove weeds, plant indigenous plant species and educate the community on how to lessen the negative impacts that they have on the environment.

When SANE started the Bells Beach reserve was heavily degraded. The dunes & cliff tops were seriously eroded, it was riddled with tracks, rubbish and weeds, there were very few native plants and the carparks were dirt paddocks. It is hard to imagine looking at it today that it could’ve been in such a sorry state. Few visitors to Bells Beach realise that the lush vegetation and wildlife they see are a direct result of the dedication and commitment of SANE.

The SANE group realised back in the 80’s that if they wanted a beautiful and healthy environment then they would have to look after it themselves. They realised that they couldn’t rely on the government or the Torquay Shire to do the work. There was a shift in thinking from blaming their local council for the state of things to realising the responsibility lies with individuals and communities to act.

The CCMA support a number of community environmental groups along the coast. If you’re involved in conservation then check with the CCMA what funding opportunities might be available to you. If you’re not involved in conservation but realise after watching this that you should be, then it might be a good idea to join your Landcare or Coastcare action group.


Percy the Perch

May 29, 2017 // Colleen Hughson // No Comments // Posted in Blog, Community Projects, Environment

Nothing like a cool costume to catch your attention!

I worked with Lucy Cameron from Glenelg Hopkins CMA to produce this short Pozible Campaign video. And, it worked; the GHCMA raised the funds (and awareness) they needed.

All credit for the costume and script goes to the very creative Lucy Cameron who may have lost her calling as a comedy writer.

The money raised through the FundsforFish campaign goes towards returning some much needed fish habitat into the Merri River in Warrnambool. The river is devoid of snags and so the GHCMA plans to put fish-hotels into the river. These wooden structures provide homes for the perch, which are estuary fish. The perch use the wooden habitat to lay in wait for their food source to float by, and then they strike. Without wooden snags in the rivers, the perch have nowhere to hide. The hope is the numbers of estuary perch will increase with the structures and the overall health of the river will approve.