On Tuesday 2nd February, 2017 volunteers celebrated World Wetland Day by supporting wetland rehabilitation activities at key wetlands in Altona and Sale. The Victorian Wetland Care program is supporting the restoration of the Sale Common Nature Reserve in Gippsland and Paisley Challis Wetlands, Cheetham Wetlands and Jawbone Conservation Reserve in western Melbourne.
The Sale Common Nature Conservation Reserve covers 300 hectares managed by Parks Victoria. The reserve is part of the Gippsland Lakes Ramsar site. More than 70% of the reserve is freshwater marsh. The remaining area supports River Red Gum woodlands and grassland. The reserve is home to a diverse range of water birds, kookaburras, wrens, Brushtail and Ringtail possums.
Paisley Challis Wetlands adjoin the Cheetham Wetlands, a Ramsar site of international significance. The wetlands contain native grasslands, salt marsh and mangroves, as well as recreational spaces for the community. Over 200 species of birds live here, as well as the endangered Altona Skipper Butterfly. The Wetland Care program ran at Paisley Challis Wetlands during 2016 and will extend to Cheetham Wetlands and Jawbone Conservation Reserve in 2017.
The Wetland Care program is improving the habitat value of two wetland systems listed under the Ramsar Convention. Our activities include on-ground conservation actions, community and school education programs. At Sale Common Nature Reserve, our volunteers are installing fencing to protect sensitive areas and removing litter to maintain water quality and amenity.
Key community conservation activities at the Paisley Challis and Cheetham Wetlands over the past year have included weeding, planting trees, grasses and reeds and mulching to protect sensitive areas.
The Victorian Wetland Care program also comprises a teacher resource and a study pack that highlights the diversity in Victorian wetlands, and assists Year 4 students to learn about ecosystems and the interrelations of plants and animals. CVA will also undertake school visits, providing an additional information pack with a bird species ‘Treasure Hunt’ for students to use during nature walks in their local wetlands.
How to get involved?
Are you a school based in the Altona or Sale region and would your students like to learn about the importance of wetlands? Perhaps you’d like to volunteer on one of our wetland projects?
To find out more phone Lana Austin on 03 9326 8250 or email [email protected]
The Victorian Wetland Care Program is in partnership Parks Victoria and Hobsons Bay City Council. The project is funded by ExxonMobil Australia, a long term supporter of Conservation Volunteers Australia.