IT may come as a surprise that Pakenham Upper is home to a thriving colony of lyrebirds.
Yet the future of Australia’s most exquisite native animal is in safe hands thanks to the work of a tireless group of local volunteers.
This Saturday, the Toomuc Valley Landcare Group will partner with the Sherbrooke Lyrebird Study Group to determine the lyrebird population at R.J. Chambers Reserve in Pakenham Upper.
Once home to a healthy colony of lyrebrids, the Ash Wednesday bushfires combined with attacks from introduced species lead to a dramatic decline in numbers. For the past five years, the Landcare Group has conducted surveys to ensure that the lyrebirds are not at risk of dying out.
Toomuc Valley Landcare president Don Petty said that the group aimed to manage and maintain the colony to ensure their existence in the years to come.
“We started conducting the surveys five years ago and in that time the numbers have almost reached saturation point,” he said.
“The last two years of fox baiting has certainly helped with getting the colony back on track. It’s now just a matter of monitoring the population and making sure that we don’t see any decline in numbers.”
The group has already mapped out 12-15 designated points where volunteers will be stationed to count the lyrebirds. They also monitor the birds using cameras positioned on mounds within the park.
Don expects around 25 people to attend the survey, which will be held at dawn this Saturday 11 July followed by a breakfast at the reserve.
Lyrebirds have become iconic for their ability to mimic the calls of other birds, as well as the striking coloured tail feathers of the male birds.
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