Wanderers lost without volunteers

By Riverine Herald

TERRICK Terrick National Park Advisory Group is looking for volunteers to help protect endangered bird the Plains-wanderer (pictured right) and the Northern Plains native grasslands it calls home.

The Northern Plains native grasslands are a sensitive landscape and the precise levels of biomass required as habitat for the Plains-wanderer and other flora and fauna species is a carefully managed science.

Parks Victoria works with neighbours, community groups, scientists and other agencies to manage the grasslands included in Terrick Terrick National Park.

The Terrick Terrick National Park Advisory Group has vacancies and Parks Victoria is asking interested community members to apply.

Terrick Terrick Advisory Group member Jenny Spence said helping restore the sensitive ecosystem of the Northern Plains Grasslands was a rewarding experience.

‘‘I’ve seen how collaborative land management has assisted with improvements in plains-wanderer habitat both on public and private land,’’ she said.

Meeting quarterly, the group contributes to discussion around management of the national park including the areas of the Northern Plains grasslands and cypress pine woodlands the park protects.

The group holds regular meetings, field trips and contributes to strategic plans.

Once common in lowland grasslands in coastal and sub-coastal eastern Australia, the Plains-wanderer is limited to two known strongholds, one of which is Victoria’s Northern Plains.

The birds roam across private and public land, preferring low sparse grass as habitat, which requires careful management.

Surveys of Plains-wanderers in 2017-18 recorded an increase in both sightings (from night surveys) and audio recordings (from the use of song meters).

The surveys and management actions take place on both public estate and private land, as the birds move across the landscape.