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NEWS DESK Bird ‘ranching’ THE federal government is partnering with Moon lit Sanctuary, Pearcedale to build an aviary for young orange-bellied parrots to survive their first winter. Research has shown that a high proportion of the endangered parrots born in the wild fail to survive their first migration across Bass Strait to Tasmania. “With only 50 adults left in the wild, and around 350 adult birds in captivity, we need to increase the breeding population – every bird matters here,” Flinders MP Greg Hunt said. “Using this technique, known as ranching, the birds will be released back into the wild population in Tasmania next summer, increasing the breeding population in 2018-19.” Environment and Energy Minister Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said the government had “mobilised more than $6 million for projects to support the parrot since 2014”. “This includes multi-year emergency biosecurity measures, vaccination protocols for controlling pisttacine beak and feather disease - a key threat to the birds - and supporting recovery actions guided by the Orange-bellied Parrot Strategic Action Planning Group.” For details about the orangebellied parrot and another 19 threatened birds go to www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/ threatened/commissioner

Natural lessons for schoolchildren IT was a windy day with reptiles slithering, veggies growing, insects, bugs and spiders crawling, poo composting, water and plastic recycling and the sounds of frogs croaking. But there was nothing to fear or complain about as it was all part of the 35th Mornington Peninsula Schools Environment Week at The Briars historic property, Mt Martha. Teachers and volunteers over the week (19-22 March) were instilling in more than 2000 schoolchildren the belief that they can make a difference to the world by living a sustainable life. Indigenous leaders taught children about Victorian Aboriginal culture and the youngsters tasted bush tucker and explored Aboriginal bushcraft, language and community. Lionel Lauch shared his knowledge of local food and fibre plants and showed how they are harvested. Fishcare promoted responsible and sustainable fishing attitudes while Tony O’Connor helped students learn the need to protect animal habitat. There were lessons in growing veggies from seeds and seedlings and how to set up a worm farm; fruit and vegies were promoted as healthy snacks. Wildlife enthusiast Andrew Wegener shared his knowledge of the varied and unique animals and ecosystems in Australia while Friends of the Hooded Plover explained why the bird is threatened on Mornington Peninsula beaches. Landcare’s puppet show taught how to care for bushland animals by protecting them from predators while

Scales and feathers: Environment Week at The Briars was an opportunity for Jessica Cole to get wrapped in a friendly python, top left, and Sophie Hardy and Mikayla Kane from Mornington Secondary College to find out if lizards liked being cuddled (luckily, yes), above. Meanwhile, Denis Goss from Friends of the Hooded Plover, left, talked birds with Somerville Rise Primary School pupils Pippa, Joel and Dakota. Pictures: Yanni

Southern Peninsula Flora and Fauna Association (SPIFFA) members were there to help create wildlife-friendly school grounds. The CFA taught fire safety and

to cowes daystonytrip point - phillip island

Seaweed Sally, a marine biologist, let children handle live ocean creatures found in peninsula waters. BERG Mt Martha and Birdlife Morning Peninsula showed how to

check the health of wetlands. National Trust and Briars Garden volunteers showed how sustainability was alive and well at the homestead in the 1800s. Barry Morris

kids HIGH TEA Thursday 5th & 12th april

Meet the

easter bunny

Sail the bay on a fast catamaran ferry ride. Fun for all the family! Explore Cowes, fish & chips on the beach, ice cream on the jetty. Make a day of it! Return Fares $26 Adult | $16 Concession | Children $12

Join us for our Easter themed Kids High Tea aboard Searoad Ferries! www.searoad.com.au or call 03 5257 4500

westernportferries.com.au or call 03 5257 4565

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PAGE 6

Mornington News

27 March 2018

Profile for Mornington Peninsula News Group

27 March 2018  

Mornington News 27 March 2018

27 March 2018  

Mornington News 27 March 2018

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